Changes In Pipe Popularity/Where Is It Going?

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ssavarimuthu

Member
Jan 14, 2016
179
0
First off, thank you everyone for being so awesome to a new pipe smoker. I never feel dumb, and feel freedom in posting new threads and adding to conversations.
I am always interested in listening to people speak from personal experience on the changes within culture and society surrounding certain topics. For instance, I am currently studying the implications of modern acceptance of mental health understandings and strategies and how Christian theology has adapted and resisted throughout the years.
Escpecially asking the old-timers, what societal changes, cultural shifts, pop-cultural changes have you seen or been a part of that has influenced or effected pipe smoking? Also, where do you think pipe smoking is going? Is it gaining or losing popularity? And is it for better or for worse?

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,960
128
I've seen both eras. Smoker tyranny in the forties through the sixties permitted smoking almost universally, in restaurants, busses, stores and hotels. If you couldn't enjoy a fine meal with the next table's chosen tobacco product, too bad for you. This has swung around to the polar extreme where smoking most places is anathema. I think pipe smoking is gaining ground very modestly, but still has to establish lounges and pipe bars where people can relax and smoke a pipe without repercussions. College student love of the forbidden helps this cause. A balance of rights based on reason and courtesy would be pleasing, but is not part of today's cultural trends. Balance, reason and compromise are dirty words -- next they will bleeped in broadcasting.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,724
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Balance, reason and compromise are dirty words -- next they will bleeped in broadcasting.
Nuggets like this are why I always read your posts.
A balance for me is to have smoking areas with their own atmospheres, like the glass-enclosed smoking areas in airports, even in regular restaurants.
The main hurdle in my view is getting smoking back into the workplace. Until people can smoke in their offices, the cigarette break -- which leaves an ugly mess in both lungs and on the lawn -- will be the norm.
Wait until employers figure out that people can both smoke and work at the same time, to the betterment of both practices...

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,529
1
Cheshire, CT
Hi there, and most important of all--welcome. Welcome to the forum and to the hobby. Certainly, if you look over the sales of pipes and pipe tobacco between today and half a century ago, you would see a sharp decline. Back then, magazines and tv shows regularly showed "men of distinction" with a pipe in their mouths. Today we pipe smokers labor against the anti-smoking lobby, changing social customs, etc. I don't have the figures in front of me to support this, but I believe that a study of the statistics over the past decade would show a slight rise. Boutique sales of pipes and tobacco appear to be on the rise, etc. I think people are beginning to realize that pipe smoking is a relaxing hobby, and overall a beneficial pursuit. Regardless of the statistics, if all pipe smokers save you and me were to give up the hobby, I believe that you and I would sit down, light up, and have a pleasant chat, and speak about what everyone else was missing. So, my friend, relax, enjoy, and if you can find the accurate statistics, do let the rest of us know. And in the interim, blow a puff of smoke toward the ceiling, sit back and relax.

 

tennsmoker

Preferred Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,159
0
I’m a child of the 1940s and came of age in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. I’ve seen great swings in our society:

The almost idyllic times of the post-World War II years; the 1960s hippie on-the-road era fed by America’s war in Vietnam, the assassination of President Kennedy; 1970s with the end of the Vietnam War with 58,000 American soldiers killed; John Lennon shot and killed, the great space shuttle adventures, Chernobyl melts down in the 1980s; the Soviet Union collapse, Waco Compound burned to the ground, Harry Potter book debuts in the 1990s; and the 2000s, led by the tragedy of 911 and subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What has this to do with pipes? There have been great swings in the tobacco world as well. When I was in college, you could smoke in the classrooms. Most of my professors smoked pipes, which convinced me I was doing the right thing, since I began smoking a pipe in my teen years, under the influence of Mark Twain's wonderful books.

Pipe tobacco was in a kind of heyday with some of the iconic blends still around, but then disappearing in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Pipe carvers were still sort of “meh.” Artisan pipes we see today in regularity were rare in the ‘60s-90s.

And, of course, we now have harsh federal restrictions on our abilities to smoke where we want, when we want and the purchase tobacco, with the promise of more to come.

These are just a few of the things I have seen. I do not think pipe smoking is making some sort of amazing comeback. It never really left, but shrank a bit.

I think the younger ranks of pipe smokers are swelling, which is a good thing in my view.

I do believe we are in a remarkable time for outstanding tobacco blends, and some of the most gorgeous pipes ever created!

These, of course, are my own personal views, since I grew up in the codger years of pipe smoking.

Maybe other geezers will chime in as well.

 

ssavarimuthu

Member
Jan 14, 2016
179
0
I hate to chime in too soon, but I want to thank everyone so far. This is exactly the kind of stuff I was interested in hearing.
There was always something very distinguished about smoking a pipe, to me. My father, who lived in India until his late 20's, used to smoke a pipe. I'm not entirely sure why he stopped, but I wish he kept the tradition on and passed it onto me.
I hope to make this a tradition for myself, and have my children and grandchildren remember me through the aroma that wafted the room. Maybe too soon to imagine such things, but I cannot help it.
Keep it coming with the conversation.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,547
173
United States
As a kid in the early 60's pipe and cigar smoking was every where. My dad smoked pipes, cigars and cigarettes and was always puffing on something. I began smoking at 12 with small cigars and Wolf Bros Rum Soaked Crooks. I remember smoking cigarettes( in the 80s) in the hospital while I was juiced up on Demerol for kidney stones. Great combo by the way. I watched in horror the anti's take over the smoking world, relegating us to pond scum status. It is only going to get worse with taxes and banning internet sales of tobacco. If the FDA has it's way, you will see many blends get discontinued and the smaller houses fold.
While there may be an influx of new smokers it will not stop the armageddon which is too come.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,453
0
What I've seen is cigar smoking going from an old man habit to a hipster fad, resulting in prices soaring to obnoxious heights. That's why I went back to a pipe. I hope the hipsters don't seize on pipes, or instead of $10 for a 50g tin we'll be paying that much to fill a group-2 bowl. Thankfully the hipsters seem to have focused their drone-like attention on vaping.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,319
21
Las Vegas, NV
While there may be an influx of new smokers it will not stop the armageddon which is too come.
I doubt they'll ever outright ban tobacco. Uncle Sam makes far too much off of tobacco in taxes to ever ban it entirely. I'm sure the rate it's taxed at will continue to increase. Stock up now, tobacco will never be cheaper than it is today.
I'm a youngin', turning 31 in a week, so I can't speak to how it's changed over the years. I can say that it seems these days pipe smoking is going through a revival. More people seem to be going back to it or are getting into it for the first time. A lot of long forgotten blends are being revived and many new carvers are popping up on the market. I think that's a great thing for the hobby.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,353
36
I've not seen much change in smokers over the years. Fifty years ago there were serious pipers and poseurs. College kids still give it a try. Some sub-cultures like the look of a pipe for a while. Nothing much has changed in those respects. There are fewer smoke shops as the market changes, fewer smokers and increased internet vendors. If one based their observations on this forum alone it would appear that there are more collectors today. I do think that is true. Conversely I think there are fewer regular pipe smokers who I define as a minimum of four or five bowls a day. :) My definition lads, others think otherwise.
Smoking is socially unacceptable these days. Years ago people tolerated it. Today? More people are more forthcoming in their disgust. So, smoking in public places has lessened. Socially, I think it's regressed to the the style of the late 1700s and early 19th century, smoke at home or in the "club."
Out of door types? Nothing much has changed, although I haven't seen a farmer resting his arms on the top rail, eyeing a freshly plowed field, pipe in mouth, ox or mule standing stoically in his traces ready to make another pass in the hot sun. Oh, and musket close by, leaning against a post.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
3
Instant marketing. Television. Minute Rice. Micro Wave Ovens. $.15 cent hamburgers ready and waiting, chemically enhanced tobacco delivery systems called "cigarettes". These things I've seen seem to have contributed to less pipe smoking.

Time is money. Gotta make a buck. Hurry, hurry. Good reasons FOR smoking a pipe.

If you have found some solace in smoking a pipe, it usually involves relaxation, enjoyment of flavor, and a more civilized approach to your time. (or fill in the blank) Reflection, contemplation, meditation, thoughtfulness, and sometimes, peace.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,960
128
I think the historical resonance of pipe smoking, by re-enacters and even just young people, hipsters or not, has a special appeal. As we turn the corner into our cyber culture and artificial intelligence and other electronic and chip devices and systems, some activities that tie back to earlier times become especially valued, give us at lease a small taste of being grounded and having origins beyond our Facebook page, etc.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,453
0
Yeah try smoking a cigar in a restaurant after a nice dinner [:)]
My experience over many decades is cigar-smoking was never welcomed publicly, especially by females. One time not that long ago I was in a restaurant and some woman at the next table leant over and asked me to put out my cigar because she was pregnant (which I figured was bullcrap because she was drinking alcohol). I told her so was I and cigars was a craving.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,944
132
Smoking cigarettes has the public relations issues, from what I see in my area of the world. But, if I fire up my pipe, people tend to flock to me with annoying questions or stories of pipe smokers they once knew. People bring their kids to me so they can see the pipe, I've even been asked to allow a kid to smell my tobacco. This is especially annoying for someone who just wants to smoke in solitude.

I've even been asked if I would smoke in people's fine houses, because they wanted the smells of my fine Virginias in their abode. I kid you not, ha ha.

And, with a "no smoking" sign visible, I politely ask if I may smoke my pipe, and I almost always get a "sure, the sign is for those idiotic cigarette smokers, not pipes." Maybe I am just the sort of person who brings out the good in people, or maybe I am blessed to live in a pipe tolerant area.
Now, this may change as pipe smokers get more prevalent, and assholes can get into any hobby and spoil it for the rest of us. But, for now, I can pretty much smoke anywhere. Cigarettes, eh, go hang them damned things. Been there, done that, and will never go back.

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,861
0
Massachusetts
I have to agree with Cosmic. I don't get an adverse reaction to pipe smoking. Instead it's almost always a conversation starter for the reasons he stated. Smoking indoors in public places is banned in Massachusetts but nobody seems to mind a pipe smoker outdoors. I'm old school. I always have a pipe hanging out of my mouth, lit or not and I never get a complaint. Pipe smokers have always been a small percentage of the population at large and I think that has remained true throughout the years. Slight surges up and down but overall pretty consistent. The internet might have changed buying habits but really hasn't changed the percentage of pipe smokers much.

 

seacaptain

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
1,832
0
The main hurdle in my view is getting smoking back into the workplace. Until people can smoke in their offices, the cigarette break -- which leaves an ugly mess in both lungs and on the lawn -- will be the norm.
Wait until employers figure out that people can both smoke and work at the same time, to the betterment of both practices...
Now that Big Insurance has a dog in the fight, they will continue to limit smoking as much as possible, wherever possible.

 

jvnshr

Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2015
3,972
0
Baku, Azerbaijan
My experience over many decades is cigar-smoking was never welcomed publicly, especially by females. One time not that long ago I was in a restaurant and some woman at the next table leant over and asked me to put out my cigar because she was pregnant (which I figured was bullcrap because she was drinking alcohol). I told her so was I and cigars was a craving.
Damn! That is a perfect excuse I have ever heard. I should use that.