Pipe Stigma?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

dannybeans

New member
Aug 12, 2013
29
0
Northern Indiana
I've seen other threads about encountering negative reactions to tobacco in general, but I've run into a couple that seem to apply to pipes specifically, and am wondering if anybody else has seen anything similar.
The one that bugs me the most is dismissiveness. Since pipes are so popular with the hipster crowd these days, there seems to be an assumption that all pipe smokers are doing it as an affectation. Yeah, yeah, forget what other people think (it's right there in my sig quote!), but it's still a bit insulting.
The other is the seemingly inevitable question of "so, do you smoke anything else in that, wink nod?" Now, the legality of various smokeables is a whole 'nother discussion (I've got nothing against it, but it's not my scene). But seeing as how it's something a person could get in some real trouble for, I don't like it even being suggested. Besides, that stuff tastes nasty - no way am I gonna let that mix with my tobacco!
Granted, the pipesmoking culture in my little town is basically nonexistent, so it may just be a provincialism thing. Whatever the reasons, though, it has kept me from smoking a pipe too openly. Has anybody else run into these (or other) negative attitudes?

 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,245
0
Don't let it keep you from smoking your pipe in public! I get my fair share of looks and negative reactions, but I also get a lot of positive comments. I smoke my pipe everywhere I go, regardless! I seem to get the most mixed reactions in tourist areas though. Every time I go to Gatlinburg it's mostly positive, but back in June I went to Stone Mt., GA and got probably around 65% negative. Here in my home town, it seems to be 50/50! I've been told I look sophisticated, and I've been told I look stupid! I've been told pipe smoking is dead, and that it's only for old men (I'm 30, by the way). I thank people for their complements and I take the negativity in stride. I am who I am! People can think whatever they want, but they can't change me with their opinions!

 

dannybeans

New member
Aug 12, 2013
29
0
Northern Indiana
Oh, for sure - I shouldn't let it bug me. I'm actually in a similar boat, petes - I'm in my early 30s, and don't have the "look" of a pipe smoker (magnificent facial hair seems to be a badge of office - my bog-standard beard just doesn't cut it :) ). *shrug* I just don't like getting hassled, I guess, so it's easier keep it private.

 

samanden

Member
Jun 11, 2013
232
0
Alexandria, VA
I think what separates the pipe man from the hipster who has a pipe is that the pipe man carries his pipe wherever he goes. Whether he's working or socializing, fishing or hammering nails, he has his pipe as a companion. People who hold a pipe for affect are clumsy. Their technique is inconsistent and unstable. When I pull out my pipe, the people around me seem to know that I've done this before. A pipe is like a good suit: some men can wear one, more let the suit wear them.
SamAnden

 

allan

Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2012
2,429
0
Bronx, NY
I'm out in the Hamptons, n.y. this weekend (can be a snooty place depending where you are) and when my family is shopping at the stores I just hang out smoking, patiently waiting for them to move to the next shop
Sometimes I see the women with their kids scurry them along to pass by the evil man smoking, other times many take it in stride; once in a long while ill get a gentle nod in my direction from a gentleman passing by.
What can you do? The anti smoking attitude is so pervasive out here . Hopefully there will be enough of us multiplying and seen around town that we can be more accepted
I can dream, can't I ?

 

samanden

Member
Jun 11, 2013
232
0
Alexandria, VA
Is it bad form to suggest that we also have to be mindful of what we smoke in certain circumstances? For example, if I'm socializing I'll choose a nice aromatic for the evening. If at a cookout, a Virginia flake smells nice. If I'm hanging with the boys, I can pull out something stronger like a VaPer or Cigar blend, maybe an English if we're going to the cigar lounge (let them boys know we pipe men can stink up a joint too). I've noticed people are more receptive to my pipe when it somehow smells appropriate.
Sam

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,907
78
This is really two questions, about the social image of pipes in general, in the public, and about pipes in a small community.

The great thing about small communities is that everyone knows everyone else, which is also the worst thing about them.

Your possibilities are limited to the imaginations of the small group of folks living in a somewhat isolated area, at least as

relates to that place. To his neighbors in Mississippi, William Faulkner was just old Bill, that writtin' fella grampa who got

too stubborn about riding his durn horse, etc. On a more cosmopolitan level, the hipster association will affect people under

a certain age. No one seeing me, or anyone else over a certain age, is going to think I'm an aspiring hipster. Clearly, what

you see is what you get, for better or worse. Younger people will have to sort this out. Pipes don't have that much of a public

image because you can't smoke them so many places.

 

mannish

New member
Aug 10, 2013
21
0
I am too old to care about the hipster thing but the pipe appears to be less offensive to others than cigars

 

smokedragon

Junior Member
Jan 31, 2013
99
0
The problem I had while still around campus was that I had a hard time separating myself for the hipster pipe movement. I am 25 and in grad school. Already my smoking a pipe seems suspect. Truth be told I started because my Dad did/does. The smell and the practice was nostalgic. As I start my "adult" life with my wife and our first home, it becomes therapeutic to relax and smoke my pipe while I ponder about how much things have changed in the past two years.
Rambling aside, I found it frustrating to see other people my age and younger acting high and mighty with their Chinese knock-off pipes that they bedazzled or painted with flames. Try striking up a conversation about tobacco, and they look at you with no clue what an aro or English blend even is.

 

tarak

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,527
0
South Dakota
I tend mostly to smoke around home, but when out in public I do get the occasional "What are you REALLY smoking in there buddy".
Around people that know me that find out I pipe smoke- its just applied to the general negative tobacco thing- and its also considered weird. There aren't too many hipsters lighting up here so pipe smoking might at best be considered- odd.

 

plateauguy

Preferred Member
Mar 19, 2013
2,414
0
At a family gathering a week ago my sister-in-law made a comment about how awful it was that kids had to be around smokers. I calmly stated that all of her kids and my daughter had been around me while growing up and they were'nt harmed. Her mouth dropped open and she said, "you don't smoke". I proudly took her inside and showed her my pipe collection. She was stunned. Then she said, "well, pipes aren't REALLY smoking."
When you have this kind of attitude in your own family, it doesn't really surprise you about the public. I'm at the age that I don't give a damn what anyone thinks anymore.

 

keith929

Preferred Member
Nov 23, 2010
748
0
I'm at the age that I don't give a damn what anyone thinks anymore.
I am in that club. I ignore the smoke-nazis and enjoy my pipe whenever and wherever and obey the no smoking signs.

I always keep a snappy retort handy for anybody who can't keep their opinions to themselves.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,839
0
So far I've been fortunate; when visiting relatives in the northern hinterlands of Michigan recently and smoking my pipe on the porch deck to avoid the discussions of the women's coupons and sales, I didn't receive any criticism. However, this might be because I've always been considered the Black Sheep of the family with a mind of his own--I am a writer descended from an agrarian blue collar family after all, which pegs me as "different" and eccentric, and at my current age am not likely to change. I do mention passingly to people who show any interest that pipe smokers don't actually inhale much. This seems to mitigate things.

 

kcvet67

Preferred Member
Jul 6, 2010
968
0
I had my 65th birthday last weekend so I'm officially allowed to ignore what others think.

 

cavendish36

Member
Jun 26, 2013
113
0
I'm with roth here, in that I really don't care what other people think. My MIL doesn't really care for the smoke, so I don't do it around her. Otherwise, my wife and kids don't object to the aroma of my tobacco, and people I meet while I am walking the dog seem to find the pipe an interesting thing. I don't broadcast the fact that I smoke a pipe, but I am un-apologetic about it; deferential, but not fearful.

 

sothron

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
3,734
0
I didn't realize hipsters had taken up pipesmoking. No hipsters out here, thank God.

 

lordape

Junior Member
Aug 8, 2013
60
0
I am in that club. I ignore the smoke-nazis and enjoy my pipe whenever and wherever and obey the no smoking signs.

I always keep a snappy retort handy for anybody who can't keep their opinions to themselves.
My favourite is a joke I heard a while ago.
As he steps outside, a man pulls out a cigarette, lights it up and takes a drag. A woman who had been standing outside pipes up "You know smoking shortens your life expectancy."

The man looks at her, takes another drag and replies "My granddaddy lived to the age of 96."

"Oh," said the woman "And did he smoke his entire life?"

"No," the man replied "he knew how to mind his own f**king business."

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,907
78
Hmmm. It's an interesting idea that there is a "hipster" contingent among young people on campus and maybe

in some cities, who take tobacco pipe smoking as one of their activities. Some university students show up at the

TAPS (regional pipe show) at the Raleigh N.C. Fairgrounds in the spring. They don't seem to be a stereotyped

group at all. Some of them look pretty serious like they don't cut many classes nor drop many either; I don't

really know, but that's the impression, serious, articulate college students, maybe some grad students. Others

look preoccupied with sociability. None looked particularly eccentric, not "hipster" whatever that might be, not

especially "preppy" nor like fraternity types. Anyway, I've been warned, if I see student age, or recent graduate age

young folks over-dramatizing their pipes. I don't want to know what they'll think of me; I'll leave that alone.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,134
21
I didn't realize hipsters had taken up pipesmoking.
+1 ... I had no idea there was any “hipster pipe movement” until it started being mentioned here on the forum. Earthlings are strange.

 

irwinmetro

Member
May 31, 2013
206
0
I took up a pipe when I was 20 or 21 (five or six years ago). I started because my band mates and I thought it was cool, unique and a little different from our contemporaries. Arguably the same reason's as hipsters.
I still fail to see how this is a bad thing. Here I am today, more involved in this hobby than I ever realized I would be. I still have barely scratched the surface of pipes, tobaccos and techniques. If I hadn't started smoking a pipe because I thought it was a cool thing to do, I most certainly wouldn't be smoking today.
It's been half a decade, I've graduated college, got a job, got married, had a kid, got a mortgage and I still think smoking a pipe makes me look pretty damn cool.