Smoking in the UK vs. the US

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jsheridan

New member
May 19, 2019
5
0
Hello Gentlemen,
I'm new to this forum, so I appreciate you all taking the time to help me out.
A relatively new pipe smoker who began as a cigar enthusiast.
I'm leaving this fall to study in the UK and was wondering if anyone could give me insight on how (if at all) prices and availability of pipe tobacco varies between the countries. One of the reasons I switched was the DRASTIC price difference between cigars and pipe tobacco. However, I don't know if I should attempt to stockpile here and transport it, or if purchasing in Wales (Aberystwyth to be exact) would be the same.

Also, any suggestions on military mount pipes would be welcomed!

Thank you,
J. S.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,883
809
Monterey Peninsula
Pre-ship 50 pounds of tobacco purchased here....
Seriously, though, I'd take with me as much as possible- customs, duty, room in luggage. Pack tobacco over boxers, as the latter cheap to buy in UK, and former very expensive.
Others may have more specific info, but prices in the UK are hellishly high. And customs I dunno about, as I've taken only a pound or so on my trips into England.

 

ukbob

Preferred Member
Dec 3, 2016
528
12
Prices pretty high over here for pipe tobacco the average price for a 50 gram tin /package is about £14 - 15 pounds.

 

tavol

Member
Mar 23, 2018
120
7
You're allowed to bring in 250g, roughly half a pound, of tobacco tax free from non-EU countries into the UK. If you bring more you can choose to risk it or pay the extra duty on it.
Tobacco is more expensive in the UK and there is less choice than in the US but there doesn't seem to be tobacco shortages so Rattrays, Gawiths and Germains are all freely available. There are also blends available that you can't find in the US so unless you're on a very tight budget or a very heavy smoker then I suggest you try some of the blends unavailable in the US.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,243
445
Take as much as you can get through customs, and research that beforehand. If you are on business, or otherwise have contact with people who travel to U.K., see if you could leave a modest stash with them to bring along on a future trip. 4noggins seems to have expertise on shipping overseas, but I'd start out with your own supply line. Depending on how long you stay, rationing yourself might be another strategy, though not hugely appealing. At UK prices, it might be necessary, if it came to that.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
145
0
You're allowed to bring in 250g, roughly half a pound, of tobacco tax free from non-EU countries into the UK.
So not all that much.
How long will you be there? How much do you smoke per week?
If you are going as a study abroad student with no visa (e.g., six weeks) you could probably pack enough to get through (but you could probably also afford to just buy in the UK).
If you are going for multiple years and you are a heavy smoker, you better either be independently wealthy or hope you can get tobacco through customs discreetly.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,668
679
United States
A 15 pound tin is only 19 bucks US( I did a 1.27 pound to US conversion). There are lots of blends over there that you cannot get here, I would be buying those. Stuff like JF Germain Rich Dark Flake, that is the first I would buy. Second might be the Samuel Gawith Full Virginia and St James plugs.

 

chilllucky

Member
Jul 15, 2018
282
32
Chicago, IL, USA
scoosa.com
I can confirm what Tavol said, as I travelled to Scotland last year. 250g is the limit for free import. I think the only risk of trying to fly over with more is being assessed an import duty/tax. I don't think (not a lawyer) that you risk confiscation or arrest.
Your problem may be less finding a tabacco to smoke as much as finding a place to smoke it.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,668
679
United States
ryeguy, here is where I looked for pound to US conversion. Did I do my math wrong, could be a I suck at math.

https://www.x-rates.com/calculator/?from=GBP&to=USD&amount=1

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
145
0
Oh, this made me laugh. I assumed "pound" meant a unit of weight (lb.) not currency (GBP/Sterling).
The idea of getting 15 lbs. (240 oz.) of anything better than sawdust for $19 struck me as absurd.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,883
809
Monterey Peninsula
I should have been more specific in my original post. I meant that a tin costing 15 pounds in England only costs 19 US dollars. (in the UK)
My addition. And in the US that same tin might go for a lot less, perhaps half as much!

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,041
284
I’d be happy to pay the UK prices for tobacco as I prefer their tobacco to US tobacco. Their otc tobaccos are what we consider top shelf over here. I think of you as a lucky dog, buy over there and support their economy.

 

fusion

Junior Member
May 18, 2019
97
0
Im from UK and now live in USA, travel back and forth quite a lot, dont attempt to go over the allowed limit for customs, customs in UK are quite strict and if you are over the limit they will give you the choice of paying the duty or forfeit the excess. As someone said the price of pipe tobacco is just under double what it is here but unless your smoking a heck of a lot its no big deal

 

jsheridan

New member
May 19, 2019
5
0
Thank you for all the input!
I'll be there for at least a year. I'm not a huge smoker (usually a bowl a day, but I skip days all the time). However, I do have a selection of tobaccos that I bought/was given to me that I'd hate to leave behind... I probably wouldn't even need to buy any if I can get my current stash over.
@chilllucky: Are you not allowed to smoke many places? I usually smoke in my garage or on walks here (finding a place to sit, I don't tend to smoke a pipe and walk). I assumed I'd be able to smoke if my flat had a porch or on a walk/on the docks (the town is on the water).
Could I ship any of it later with most of my other stuff? I'll have a lot of things to pack up and have shipped to me once I get there.

 

tavol

Member
Mar 23, 2018
120
7
Are you not allowed to smoke many places? I usually smoke in my garage or on walks here (finding a place to sit, I don't tend to smoke a pipe and walk). I assumed I'd be able to smoke if my flat had a porch or on a walk/on the docks (the town is on the water).
You're not allowed to smoke inside, anywhere else smoking is allowed.

 

northernpipeshed

New member
Jul 26, 2017
31
0
Yep a 2 oz tin is about £15..............you can bring in 5 2oz tins....then they hang you......
Only joking......bring some C&D or GL Pease with you as its unobtainable in the U.K. more or less....plenty of people will swap etc. and you will make contacts and friends.
I have been to Lloyds ...the tobacconist in Aberystwyth whilst on holiday a few years back........good selection ...a bit pricey at around £16 a tin...good old fashioned shop with a nice pipe selection.