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How Important Is The "Nicotine Hit To Pipe Smokers?"

(91 posts)
  1. tufftony

    tufftony

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    We know that inhalation draws the largest amount of nicotine into
    the body. Merely puffing, on the other hand, absorbs very little.

    If, as some claim, the "nic hit" is the main reason we smoke pipes
    we would all be inhaling and not puffing, and we aren't.

    I think the notion that we really smoke pipes for a "nic hit" is
    effectively refuted by the fact that most pipe smokers do not
    inhale.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  2. chasingembers

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    The lining of your mouth and nasal cavity absorbs just as much nicotine. Hence retrohaling and chewing tobacco.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. tufftony

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    Absorb as much as a deep inhalation directly into the lungs
    which have a vastly greater surface area?

    Hmm... Personally I'm inclined to doubt it.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. chasingembers

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    You're just blowing the smoke right back out aren't you?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. tufftony

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    When you puff, yes, of course, blowing it right back out
    and not holding it in the lungs.

    How could mere occasional puffing possibly absorb as much
    nicotine as a great cloud of smoke drawn into and held
    in the lungs?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. chasingembers

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    Most of us consider puffing a very long, slow draw and holding the smoke in our mouth for an extended period of time before releasing it or retrohaling.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. chasingembers

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    Yes, of course, blowing it right back out and not holding it in the lungs.

    Are you using your inward breath to draw?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. tufftony

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    Most of us consider puffing a very long, slow draw and holding the smoke in our mouth for an extended period of time before releasing it or retrohaling.

    Really? Personally I consider puffing to be just puffing,
    you know, like a train.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. chasingembers

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    Yep, I rarely let go of the smoke and mostly let it swirl around my mouth, usually only retrohaling after my mouth is full of smoke.

    https://youtu.be/Jw8R7mxECvY

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. tufftony

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    Are you using your inward breath to draw?

    What's that?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. chasingembers

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    What's that?

    Are you just using your mouth to draw or pulling smoke from the pipe as you breathe in?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. tufftony

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    I'm just using my mouth to draw.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. judcole

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    You can't generalize on things like this. The nic hit is more important to some pipe folks than others.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. davek

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    Your mouth absorbs nicotine. You also breath the smoke second hand even if you are not slightly inhaling. Pipe tobacco is stronger than cigarette tobacco. Of course you get nicotine.

    As has been said, for some pipe smokers nicotine is the central reason; for some pipe smokers taste, aroma, and other things are central. For the great majority, it is somewhere in between.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. mikethompson

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    Exactly, some smoke specifically for the nic hit and search out high nic blends. I'm not one of those guys, but there are plenty out there.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. haparnold

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    I don't agree, Tony. Now personally I don't perceive a nicotine kick from smoking a pipe, and would happily keep smoking even if the nicotine were not present.

    But saying people aren't interested in nicotine because most pipe smokers don't inhale is, for one thing, ignoring the fact that to many smokers (myself included), the increased health risk of inhaling outweighs the physical pleasure of a nicotine kick.

    Additionally, just because people aren't maximizing something can't possibly mean they're disinterested in it, or indifferent to it. Some baseball teams sign players who are great at getting on base, and not so great at hitting home runs, but that can't possibly imply that baseball teams aren't interested in getting home runs.

    To 'give the devil his due' I will say that I believe nicotine is not the primary reason most pipe smokers smoke a pipe, but certainly an added benefit for many smokers, and I'm willing to bet that if pipe tobacco didn't contain nicotine, some smokers would substitute away to a different form of tobacco consumption.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 2 months ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Keep in mind Tobacco starts out with lethal amounts of Nicotine, curing is mostly done to reduce Nicotine content to levels that allow you to smoke it from a pipe.
    If you just want a buzz from a few puffs I’m sure the blenders could arrange it.

    Really you’d think there should be a cottage industry of raw leaf being sold just to rub on your skin instead of all the fuss with patches. Modern society just doesn’t like anything that isn’t sold in a clean wrapper.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. ray47

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    Sometimes the nicotine hit is important and at other times I'm going for the taste. It all depends on my mood. If I'm inhaling pipe tobacco I'm not getting any taste and thus defeating the whole purpose of pipe smoking. If I need a nic hit I'll smoke some 5 Brothers and inhale from time to time.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. cosmicfolklore

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    There isn’t really a “hit” from smoking a pipe. You get way more nicotine from the pipe and cigars without inhaling, but over the course of time. Whereas in cigarettes and inhaling, you get less but quicker. The effect on the body and mind is different. If there was no nicotine, most people wouldn’t even bother. We would be smoking rosemary, sage, and parsley. Sure tobacco is tastey, but there are so many other herbs and leaf that taste better... so... YMMV

    Michael
    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. rfernand

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    Dunhill will return.
    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. cosmicfolklore

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    But, of course you know that we would have differing outlooks, or else why post the OP to begin with as a pot stirrer?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. dcon

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    It is undeniable that nicotine is absorbed in the mouth. The amount is not comparable to cigarette smoking where you are doing this, plus, absorbing in your lungs. I have a pretty high nicotine tolerance. I have truly never felt a physical addiction to either cigarettes or any other tobacco product. I dropped cigarettes cold turkey decades ago and only find I might mentally miss the pleasure. Nicotine differently effects other’s will power system.

    I am not a believer that the ‘nic hit’ is the main, or only reason that I come back to the pipe.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. onestrangeone

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    I smoke for the pleasure it gives me, it’s a complete package deal and not just one aspect of it is the ‘main’ reason. Trying to compare cigarettes to pipe tobacco is like comparing processed cheese food to Real Wisconsin handmade cheese.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. loneredtree

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    +1 Cosmic
    The nic effect on the brain for inhaling the chemical brew that is a cigarette is very intense and over quickly as I have read.(Warren, I have never used cigarettes) The slow adsorption from pipe smoking does not have the rush. Maybe that is why most pipe users can stop without the problems that long term "smokers" have trying to quit.

    I did find a non nicotine blend that was very tasty with a pleasant aroma in the 60's that had no psychotropic effects. Unfortunately, I moved away and never found it again. I think that it would have been my go to smoke.

    I have tried herbal blends to get away from the nic but each had the "peace pipe" active component. At this age, I do not want to mess with my brain cells so I leave that alone. BTW it smells and taste great!

    So, I will accept that smoking a pipe with the great blends we have today has a bit of Lady Nicotine to enhance the experience.

    Sorry for the rambling.

    There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. Mark Twain

    “Very few people are focusing on the potential damage this ill-conceived and hastily assembled homage to the ability of bureaucrats to conceive of all manner of problems where problems don't exist then apply solutions to those problems that only create new problems without solving the original problems at all will bring to many sectors.
    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. anthonyrosenthal74

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    There's also the fact that some blends contain more nicotine than others. And some blends contain quite a bit. You could probably have a pipe in your mouth smoking 1Q all day long and not feel a thing. But then you could load up a bowl of G&H Twist and get knocked on your butt. I'll say most pipe smokers probably aren't doing it for the nicotine hit, but those that do are smoking the stronger stuff. If I really want to feel the nicotine I'll do just that, and smoke a stronger blend. But normally it's not a factor in my decision.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
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    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. warren

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    Many smokers never notice the hit, it's simply part of the "good feelings" which often times result from a bowl. What many people attribute to the "nic hit" is often caused by, dehydration?, empty stomach?, low oxygen in the blood (displaced by the nicotine and carcinogens) and a ton of other possibilities. The good feelings are attributed to the routine, the relaxing or increased ability to focus. But, the effect of nicotine on the brain as part of the "good feelings" many get from a pipe cannot be isolated to the point where one may aver, "I'm not affected by nicotine". The nicotine is simply there, always, whether one actually notices the impact or not. There is a reason many authors, over the years, refer to "lady nicotine" as seductive. If you smoke tobacco, you've experienced the effect of nicotine, knowingly or not, acknowledged or not. Oh, and your body most likely wishes you'd run another bowl through the system, sooner and than later.

    I love these never changing, always circular discussions.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. sablebrush52

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    I'm basically a Nic wimp. I'm not a fan of the Nic hit, and choose blends accordingly. But even then, I've occasionally smoked blends that were supposed to be Nic heavy and felt nothing, and others that were considered Nic light, and gotten the spins from them. The Nic hit is not important to me. The blends' flavors are the only reason I smoke a pipe.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. cigrmaster

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    I have never chosen a tobacco because of the nicotine content. I pick blends that taste good to me. The only blend in my cellar that is high in nicotine is Peterson Irish Flake. I smoke it on a full stomach because I don't want to get a nicotine rush.

    Harris
    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. brian64

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    I love nicotine and caffeine. I also love the aroma and taste of tobacco, coffee and tea.

    Why anyone takes an either/or position on these things is baffling to me.

    I would not want to drink decaf coffee, but to suggest it's ONLY about the caffeine is ludicrous. If that was the case I would just take caffeine tablets. Why bother with the coffee or tea?

    I find it amusing whenever I see the routine comments suggesting that someone is in "denial" if they say their reasons for consuming tobacco are for more than just the nicotine.

    Really? Are people really that shallow in their thinking that they can't perceive the holistic approach to things?

    Yes I like and value the effects of nicotine...and yes I love everything else about the pipe tobacco experience. If all someone is getting out of it is the nicotine I feel sorry for them.

    For me, caffeine is FAR more addictive than nicotine. I suspect that heavy cigarette smokers are addicted to something more than nicotine in mass produced cigarettes. This is only speculation, but it's based on my own experience with nicotine...it's just very weak in terms of addictive qualities compared to caffeine.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 2 months ago #
  30. anthonyrosenthal74

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    I suspect that heavy cigarette smokers are addicted to something more than nicotine in mass produced cigarettes. This is only speculation, but it's based on my own experience with nicotine.
    To an extent yes, and to an extent no. I gave up the big brand cigarettes for more natural 100% tobacco cigarettes years before I was finally able to give up the cigarettes. A major part of it is how the nicotine is absorbed into the body. Inhaling smoke is going to deliver nicotine to the bloodstream far quicker than how most of us smoke our pipes. You can test this buy inhaling your pipe smoke if you don't normally do so. I can almost guarantee you'll get a quick nicotine hit that you're not used to. That being said, I don't recommend inhaling any smoke into the lungs.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  31. brian64

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    That makes sense Anthony. And it speaks to the very real difference between the type of inhaling that cigarette smokers do as opposed to pipe or cigar smoking.

    That's another thing that I find amusing...the routine comments insisting that there is no significant differences in any form of tobacco smoking.

    I've only smoked cigarettes a relative few times in my life and never was able to inhale. If I try to intentionally inhale into my lungs even just a little bit I start coughing immediately.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  32. anthonyrosenthal74

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    I've only smoked cigarettes a relative few times in my life and never was able to inhale. If I try to intentionally inhale into my lungs even just a little bit I start coughing immediately.
    A big part of that is caused by the throat hit. I'll explain in terms of vaping, which is what got me finally off the cigarettes. Of course the throat hit is another factor in cigarettes, the feeling you get from the smoke entering your throat and then your lungs. The only reason I'm bring up vaping at this time is because of the nicotine discussion...

    The amount of nicotine in a blend, in this case vaping, causes a tight feeling (for lack of a better explanation) in the back of the throat, as well as a fuller feeling in the lungs. In vaping you can more easily control the amount of nicotine in your blend so the throat hit can be very noticeable or hardly noticeable. So if you're used to low nicotine, but suddenly try something that's high in nicotine you feel those effects and will likely cough and choke. It also feels more harsh.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  33. brian64

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    Well, I'll just add this based on personal experience.

    There is no doubt that nicotine is absorbed through the mouth lining and nasal cavity, but I can smoke the highest nic content pipe blends with no problem whatsoever...even on an empty stomach.

    But if I put a big pinch of Skoal or Copenhagen in my mouth the room starts spinning. So this again demonstrates that there is a significant difference in these forms of tobacco consumption...at least for me anyway. And perhaps nicotine is more addictive than I realize, but obviously not from pipe smoking...again, speaking only for my personal experience.

    EDIT: or even the milder nic-hit from leaf chew such as Redman...I can tolerate it but it's much stronger than pipe smoking for me.

    EDIT: I can also go for days without pipe smoking if/when necessary or desired without any issue. This is also very telling for my own experience. I cannot do that with caffeine.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  34. didimauw

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    If I didn't get any nicotine out of tobacco, I wouldn't smoke.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 months ago #
  35. warren

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    The deniers I write about are those who deny any effect from nicotine. They may not notice/admit and even deny it but, it is part and parcel of the "relaxing" and feeling of contentment or, what have you. People smoke pipes for many reasons but, one of the most voiced is, "It helps me relax?" Duh! Like it or not, the nicotine is having its "seductive" effect ... modifying your mood or, whatever words you prefer to use to describe the effect.

    I would posit: It is impossible to take nicotine into one's system without it effecting brain activity. Absofreakinglutely impossible! The degree of the effect is of course variable depending on the individual and the amount of nicotine absorbed.

    And, vaping is an entirely different matter. Incinerated material is not involved. Taking in vapor carried toxins is not the same as smoke borne toxins or drugs. Peoples bodies react to nicotine in different ways of course. Witness those that get physically discomforted and those who do not physically react to different levels of nicotine/flavorings/casings/fertilizers etc. Many here are quick to tell someone experiencing discomfort that it is obviously the fault of the nicotine, only the nicotine, and they need food, hydration or what not. Could it be the person reacted to a topping or casing? Could they be experiencing some other abnormality for the moment? Allergic reactions? Something in the air? We are sometimes very quick to offer up pseudo-medical advice when we know not of what we speak. We can only offer up anecdotal information based on some self-diagnosis we used in the past. Excepting, of course, those with a medical background/education.

    We are indeed, I exempt myself not, a fun bunch when we attempt to justify our vice and minimize the effects smoking may or may not have on our health, mental and physical. I, for one, greatly appreciate the diversion provided by the members, each and all. This is particularly true during the cold, dark days of winter. My thanks to each one of you lovable lugs. And, any luggettes present of course.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  36. olkofri

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    I'm with Hap and Brian on this one. And I also puff the smoke right out. Maybe I'll try to keep it in my mouth a lil' bit longer, but the reason I don't is that I eventually have to breathe and I'm concerned about inhaling what's in my mouth. Now THAT would be a nicotine hit; and remembering my first and only time inhaling cigarette smoke I don't really wanna go there.

    Even from the fabled Nightcap, which for over a year after buying the tins I was reluctant to smoke for fear of a strong cigar-like nicotine hit, I didn't get any nic hit or buzz or what have you.

    I'm interested in the mind-enhancing effects of nicotine, hence my having a purito just before an exam, but I haven't gotten that from a pipe. Not much of a big deal, I'm not into piping for the nicotine. If I really want to feel woozy, I've a humidor half-packed with cigars.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 2 months ago #
  37. josephcross

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    I cannot do that with caffeine

    Yea a day without caffeine and Im in sorry shape.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  38. elasmo

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    Nightcap without the nic would make me cry

    Posted 2 months ago #
  39. tulsagentleman

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    I agree with Brian64. I smoked cigarettes for a long time, then a pipe, then cigars, now am back to a pipe and never with a problem. But the two times I have tried to chew tobacco I puked my guts out. It was more than just the nicotine.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  40. tufftony

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    brian64:

    I love nicotine and caffeine. I also love the aroma and taste of tobacco, coffee and tea.

    Why anyone takes an either/or position on these things is baffling to me.

    I would not want to drink decaf coffee, but to suggest it's ONLY about the caffeine is ludicrous. If that was the case I would just take caffeine tablets. Why bother with the coffee or tea?

    I find it amusing whenever I see the routine comments suggesting that someone is in "denial" if they say their reasons for consuming tobacco are for more than just the nicotine.

    Really? Are people really that shallow in their thinking that they can't perceive the holistic approach to things?

    Yes I like and value the effects of nicotine...and yes I love everything else about the pipe tobacco experience. If all someone is getting out of it is the nicotine I feel sorry for them.

    For me, caffeine is FAR more addictive than nicotine. I suspect that heavy cigarette smokers are addicted to something more than nicotine in mass produced cigarettes. This is only speculation, but it's based on my own experience with nicotine...it's just very weak in terms of addictive qualities compared to caffeine.

    Brian, my boy, well said! You're a man after my own heart!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  41. tufftony

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    Warren:

    We are indeed, I exempt myself not, a fun bunch when we attempt to justify our vice...

    Vice? VICE??? Who says pipe smoking is a vice? I don't consider it a vice.
    If the authorities were to tell you that a pleasant stroll through the
    woods on a sunny afternoon was a vice would you be as ready to accept
    their opinion? I humbly suggest that you are perhaps a mite too much
    under the sway of official opinion. Have you ever considered that those
    who propagate official opinion may not, as you seem to imagine, be as
    concerned with your welfare as with their salaries?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  42. brian64

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    The deniers I write about are those who deny any effect from nicotine. They may not notice/admit and even deny it but, it is part and parcel of the "relaxing" and feeling of contentment or, what have you. People smoke pipes for many reasons but, one of the most voiced is, "It helps me relax?" Duh! Like it or not, the nicotine is having its "seductive" effect ... modifying your mood or, whatever words you prefer to use to describe the effect.

    I certainly agree that the nicotine is likely a significant factor in the relaxation effect of pipe smoking in most cases.

    But the reasons I qualify that with likely and most is due to the following considerations:

    1. Sometimes when people comment on the relaxation factor, they also say that they only smoke 1 bowl a day or less...sometimes only 1 bowl a week...and sometimes they also comment that they smoke low-nic blends. I don't see the nicotine being a significant factor in such cases.

    2. These types of comments very often include statements regarding the entire "ritual" of preparing the tobacco and the pipe and taking the time to sit and reflect during the course of a bowl.

    I do not dismiss these other factors as being imaginary or meaningless to the relaxation effect and just attribute it all to the nicotine.

    3. The issue of the word "addiction".

    This has been discussed here before, and the conventional narrative pushed everywhere is that nicotine is highly addictive and there is an implied or sometimes directly stated assertion that anyone who uses tobacco at all in any form is addicted to nicotine. This has been stated in the past here also by forum members.

    This is a very casual use of the word addiction that is inaccurate imo...and not because I'm in "denial". It's simply about using terminology properly rather than making a blanket statement.

    Someone who can't go without nicotine on a daily or even hourly basis without becoming to some degree dysfunctional is addicted to nicotine.

    Someone who smokes a bowl or two a day...or even much less sometimes...is not addicted to nicotine...IMO.

    I've never once in my life heard anyone characterize moderate use of alcohol as an addiction. Yet the word addiction is routinely applied to anyone who uses tobacco, regardless of any degree of moderation involved.

    I've noticed a pattern that this perception seems to come primarily from those who were or still are cigarette smokers...and can't seem to comprehend or relate to anyone who is a light or moderate pipe smoker. They seem to want to lump everyone into the basket they are in.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  43. sablebrush52

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    I was attracted to pipe smoking because I found the scent of pipe tobacco intoxicating. I figured that anything that smelled that good must taste good as well. Overall, it's worked out that way, and flavor remains the predominant reason that I smoke pipes. Nicotine has never been a consideration to me except on the occasion of there being too much of an effect. If there was a nicotine free pipe tobacco that tasted great, I'd happily smoke it.

    I don't find a nicotine high enjoyable. Like many of my generation I happily indulged in another high, and even there, only liked the barest touch.

    When I go on trips, I happily leave my pipes and tobacco behind. It's nice to take a break every now and then. I find my palate refreshed and experience the flavors more intensely after a break.

    It's interesting because I was a fairly heavy cigarette smoker for over a decade, between 1 1/2 and 2 packs a day. I just couldn't seem to let it go. Then one day I was leaving the Studio, puffing on a cig, last one in the pack, and decided that I would not smoke another one unless I really desired it. I tossed the empty pack in the trash, finished the cig, and haven't bought another one since. That was in 1983.

    Do I believe that nicotine is an addictive substance? Of course. I'm not a dimwit. But, like alcohol, its addictiveness varies with the individual.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  44. warren

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    Damn tufftony! I forgot you were new to the board. So for you and others who might have forgotten, did not know , simply forgot here it is again. Newly stated with differing words so others might not be too bored.

    I call it a vice and am not particularly interested in the term you use nor your reaction to it. Not the least bit embarrassed and only a bit self-shame at the exhibition of a personal weakness, smoking. Nor, is it a nod to officialdom, I rarely consider the wishes of various governments nor their position when I choose a vice. (I suspect others do not either as I simply do not care what their opinion is.) I simply think anything we do that, by it's nature is in no way beneficial to myself or others, except in a hedonistic/selfish way, a vice. I have two ... I also enjoy a nip of Port or other adult beverage now and then. My choice of the descriptor, vice, stems purely from my rearing, related more to my moral rearing. Just reading the semantic hoops some of you jump through to avoid the simple reality of tobacco as a mind altering drug is a hoot. Others, rightfully so, address the levels of the drug possibly absorbed and have decided to accept the reality and, as I do, enjoy tobacco without feeling the need to be defensive about our choice to others or, most importantly, ourselves.

    So,see ... no need for a knee jerk reaction. It's purely a term I use and not an indictment on smokers. Simply an acknowledgement of my weakness, and the label I apply to such behavior in others. I do judge others and, their choice of vice(s) is one of the values I use. I see such vices as somewhat humanizing. The attendant "hoop jumping", and herculean efforts to minimize any negatives to the pipe is ... well, also very humanizing

    I've not brought "addiction" into the discussion. Others have, the term is simply too nebulous for most lay people to properly apply in the heat of debate. Even the medical profession has a problem with a hard and fast definition and application. But, that's natural as most people resent being told something they love to do is not particularly healthy. Particularly true when the person apparently is still, to some degree questioning their choice and looking for "outs" to support the decision.

    Bottom line: Everyone deserves a wee vice, possibly two, three may be pushing the envelope. But, should only do so after making themselves aware of the dangers, possible costs, accepting possible consequences, and (most importantly) be willing to uncomplainingly suffer the possible consequences, fully prepared to shoulder the costs, both medical and emotional. Now, that is downright selfish I believe. I think I've taken a rational approach to smoking and do not feel the need to seek the blessings of others nor, forbearance of government.

    sway of official opinion

    Not sure how to answer that observation. What is this "official opinion"? Smoking is frowned upon but, still permitted legally. Hell! I frown upon it when the decision to smoke is made without a bit of "due process" by the prospective smoker. All of the assorted questions we get here regarding nicotine, inhaling, etc. lead me to believe that many make the decision without doing any research and/or, they have an uncanny ability to cut and paste what to believe, or not, of information they discovered in the ether.

    It boils down to, "smoking bad, not smoking efficacious." Pretty simple and straightforward that. Also undeniable. So ... pick your poison knowingly, light up and enjoy. I do.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  45. brian64

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    We are indeed, I exempt myself not, a fun bunch when we attempt to justify our vice and minimize the effects smoking may or may not have on our health, mental and physical.

    Just reading the semantic hoops some of you jump through to avoid the simple reality of tobacco as a mind altering drug is a hoot.

    The attendant "hoop jumping", and herculean efforts to minimize any negatives to the pipe is ... well, also very humanizing

    It boils down to, "smoking bad, not smoking efficacious." Pretty simple and straightforward that. Also undeniable.

    Warren: Some of your most common comments in these types of discussions are as above...essentially to characterize anyone who attempts to articulate the distinctions between different forms of tobacco use as attempts to "justify" their habit/vice/addiction, whatever one wishes to call it.

    I'll take you at your word that attempting to justify is really how you perceive these things...but to me that is simply ridiculous.

    I can only speak for myself of course, but I know that my perspective on these things has absolutely nothing to do with trying to justify my tobacco use. I am completely at peace with my tobacco use...and I couldn't care less what anyone thinks about it.

    But I'm also not going to adopt what my own experience and common sense tells me is a false view...namely that there are no significant, meaningful distinctions between different forms and quantities of tobacco use.

    Would it be healthier to abstain entirely from any tobacco use at all? Of course it would. But I have yet to see any convincing evidence indicating that light to moderate pipe smoking has any significant health risk involved for most people.

    If you honestly see it as all the same regardless of form or quantity, well, ok...you have every right to your opinion. But to me that indicates either a lack of objective critical thinking on the matter...or it is a projection of your own type and quantity of use onto everyone else.

    I was attracted to pipe smoking because I found the scent of pipe tobacco intoxicating. I figured that anything that smelled that good must taste good as well. Overall, it's worked out that way, and flavor remains the predominant reason that I smoke pipes. Nicotine has never been a consideration to me except on the occasion of there being too much of an effect. If there was a nicotine free pipe tobacco that tasted great, I'd happily smoke it.

    I don't find a nicotine high enjoyable. Like many of my generation I happily indulged in another high, and even there, only liked the barest touch.

    When I go on trips, I happily leave my pipes and tobacco behind. It's nice to take a break every now and then. I find my palate refreshed and experience the flavors more intensely after a break.

    So Sable, based on Warren's perspective, what you've related regarding your pipe smoking should not be possible.

    You must be in some kind of denial...or attempting to justify it.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  46. skydog

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    I clearly remember nicotine withdrawal when I was addicted to cigarettes. I couldn't go more than 3 hours or so without a cigarette before I started losing my mind. Of course I was smoking a pack a day so I was a heavy nicotine addict. When I first switched to pipes I sought out high nicotine blends and occasionally inhaled. Now I enjoy multiple pipes a day and am probably still mildly addicted to nicotine but I can go 7 or 8 hours without nicotine with no ill effects. I no longer care how much nicotine is in a blend and I never inhale pipe smoke anymore. I still have a pretty high nicotine tolerance but am no longer addicted to it like I once was. That's my experience, I continue to smoke pipes because I enjoy the taste and the relaxation it provides but not because I simply have to have nicotine in the same way as I did when I smoked cigarettes.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  47. warren

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    namely that there are no significant, meaningful distinctions between different forms and quantities of tobacco use.

    I've often acknowledged the differences. I might argue the use of the word "significant" though. Someday, maybe soon, geneticists may be able to check your pool and give a definitive answer to someone thinking of smoking. I doubt it, too many outside, uncontrollable considerations. But, they certainly might be able to access the risk better than we can now.

    I do see with many posts, the effort to find ideas/beliefs with which to reinforce one's choice to smoke as somehow being "not so bad" a decision. I think those doing such are seeking such reinforcement form other smokers, anecdotal based observations to ease their thought process. I won't defend smoking to others with questions, as there really isn't a way to do so, no matter the tool, when incineration is involved from a cancer standpoint. The almost manic fear of nicotine expressed here, at times, amazes me. I'll always take issue with those who deny any impact by nicotine. It may not be noticeable but, it certainly is occurring and some of that damage is most likely permanent though not noticeable. Maybe not impairing but, it occurs. Again, it's risk v reward, an entirely personal judgement. But, risk v reward cannot be fairly addressed until some research is done. That's really all I'm saying.

    There is a stark difference of acknowledging nicotine and it's effects and, simply refusing to accept the reality. Sable, myself and others acknowledge nicotine, we simply accept it as part of the experience and ... it probably isn't the driving force for many, maybe the majority of pipe smokers. It nicotine was all I wanted, I'd smoke only cigarettes or wear a patch all the time. I think that is most reasonable. It's the denying of any effects simply because they may not be noticed. Nicotine and its effects are simply unavoidable when using tobacco. It's a "nit" I enjoy picking at.

    I smoke for the flavor and the diversion in the evening. I enjoy what the nicotine does for my physiology but, that's a by -product that time of day. Yes, even when effect isn't felt or sensed. It is just there, quietly doing it's thing. I smoke during the day and, as I am active I really do not savor those bowls or cigarettes as when tucked happily in my chair with a good book in the evening. Daytime, working I'm smoking for the comfort of the nicotine, drinking coffee for the caffeine, eating for the sustenance, and working for the moneys needed to keep buying such.

    Would it be healthier to abstain entirely from any tobacco use at all? Of course it would.

    You and I are in total agreement. But, there are those who dig deep, trying to justify smoking as in some way being efficacious. They seem to have a need to believe they are not doing any harm to their systems. For you and I, it appears only to be a matter of degree. Will a bowl a week or, a day kill you? Possibly and obviously unprovable. Only time will tell. But, we all should acknowledge that there is no safe level of smoking, too many variables. One's gene pool being one of the most important.

    I simply take issue with those who attempt to make smoking, any level of, appear entirely or, nearly, risk free.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  48. olkofri

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    From Collins' Dictionary:
    vice¹ /vaɪs/
    NOUN 1. an immoral, wicked, or evil habit, action, or trait 2. habitual or frequent indulgence in pernicious, immoral, or degrading practices 3. a specific form of pernicious conduct, esp prostitution or sexual perversion 4. a failing or imperfection in character, conduct, etc.

    “Americans are the people who describe their use of alcohol and tobacco as vices” —G.K. Chesterton.

    Being obsessed with self-guilt is as bad as being hell-bent on self-justification. Goes to shew that moderation is the way to go in spiritual matters also. Since the material things are the training ground for the spiritual ones, go forth and smoke and drink... in moderation.

    Vice is taking things beyond moderation (i.e. gluttony).

    Posted 2 months ago #
  49. rfernand

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    Yeah!

    I never smoke to excess - that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.
    - Mark Twain

    Posted 2 months ago #
  50. brian64

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    I've often acknowledged the differences.

    I guess I must have missed those comments...because I just don't recall you saying that. Not saying you haven't, but I didn't catch it. But I do recall you making comments that I interpreted as stating that there are no meaningful differences.

    As for people denying any effect of nicotine, I haven't really seen that or interpreted anyone's comments in that way. I think what most are saying regarding nicotine is that it is a minor factor with pipe smoking when compared to other forms of tobacco use...and that has been my own experience as well. If anyone is saying that nicotine is non-existent in pipe smoking, then I would agree with you that is untrue...but I'm not sure anyone has said that.

    The almost manic fear of nicotine expressed here, at times, amazes me. I'll always take issue with those who deny any impact by nicotine. It may not be noticeable but, it certainly is occurring and some of that damage is most likely permanent though not noticeable. Maybe not impairing but, it occurs.

    Potential permanent damage from nicotine? I really don't see nicotine as being the problem with smoking...especially pipe and cigar smoking...it's the carcinogenic potential of the smoke that is the problem. But again, for someone who's smoking is limited to moderate pipe smoking, it is a very minimal risk...for most people...IMO. The vast majority of cancers are unrelated to tobacco use.

    I do enjoy the degree of nicotine I get from pipe smoking, but the greatest effect I've experienced from it is next to nothing compared to what I've experienced from chewing tobacco in the past. I can't speak to the inhalation of cigarette smoke because I've never done that, but comments such as Skydog's above confirm what many others have said about it.

    Vice is taking things beyond moderation (i.e. gluttony).

    Far and away the greatest cause of chronic illness in America is obesity...specifically obesity combined with the toxicity and poor nutritional value of the average diet.

    Tobacco consumption isn't even a blip on the collective radar compared to those things.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  51. tufftony

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    From Collins' Dictionary:
    vice¹ /vaɪs/
    NOUN 1. an immoral, wicked, or evil habit, action, or trait 2. habitual or frequent indulgence in pernicious, immoral, or degrading practices 3. a specific form of pernicious conduct, esp prostitution or sexual perversion 4. a failing or imperfection in character, conduct, etc.

    “Americans are the people who describe their use of alcohol and tobacco as vices” —G.K. Chesterton.

    Being obsessed with self-guilt is as bad as being hell-bent on self-justification. Goes to shew that moderation is the way to go in spiritual matters also. Since the material things are the training ground for the spiritual ones, go forth and smoke and drink... in moderation.

    Vice is taking things beyond moderation (i.e. gluttony).

    Olkofri, my man - Nice! Very Nice!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  52. tufftony

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    Yeah!

    I never smoke to excess - that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.

    - Mark Twain

    Posted 2 months ago #
  53. warren

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    4. a failing or imperfection in character, conduct, etc.

    That's it! Most, particularly males, resent being told they are perceived to have a weakness/imperfection or, in easier to choke down terms, a failing. I simply think such imperfections are what make us human. We all have them, mostly very visible. Our friends/associates tend to accept our foibles. The others? Who cares!

    I got annual performance reviews and, depending who the supervisor/command officer was, it was "water off a duck's back" or, far more likely, a fault to seriously consider addressing.

    Getting defensive when smoking is referred to as a vice? Why in the world would anyone care what term I used? It's an apt word with no personal dig intended. Obviously hit a sore spot somewhere on someone. Unintentionally of course. (Crap! I gotta be honest, I knew I'd get a rise out of someone. It was simply too easy and I couldn't let the opportunity pass.)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  54. mso489

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    I'm not sure. Here's the story I tell myself and the evidence. When I go without a pipe for a day, or several, or a week, I don't feel the drive or craving at all. When I now and then experience a nicotine buzz, I enjoy it, but I don't find myself going back to that blend for that buzz. If it comes around again, it's fine, and if not, it's fine. My dad smoked a pipe pretty much all the time when I was growing up, and I assume he had a nicotine habit, though he never spoke of it, and he quit cold turkey at 65 with no obvious mood problems. My mom smoked cigarettes now and then, but the pack always went stale; she just didn't crave it, only liked it for the movie star gesturing they provided. People have widely different reactions to nicotine as with alcohol -- the mean drunk and the loving drunk, etc., and people who just get sick from drink, and others who just want to sleep. It appears that reactions to nicotine vary widely. Nicotine's activity in the brain seems centered in the hippocampus, but has never been clearly defined. So it is a self-honesty test to know what your relationship to nicotine is. It seems to me, mine is quite relaxed.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  55. sablebrush52

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    So Sable, based on Warren's perspective, what you've related regarding your pipe smoking should not be possible.

    And yet, there it is. I think what made the difference for me was that I didn't really want to quit before, and walking out of that studio gate I had made the internal decision that I did want to quit. There was absolutely no struggle. I did go through withdrawal. I was sick for several weeks. But that did not translate into any desire to pick up a cigarette. I simply did not want a smoke. I haven't had a cigarette since that day back in 1983. And, I didn't smoke anything for about eight years after, until I returned to smoking a pipe. I still have no desire to smoke a cigarette. None.

    You must be in some kind of denial...or attempting to justify it.

    Denial is in Egypt. Deny what? I smoked. Smoking is not a healthy habit, and not all pleasures are healthy. Taking a break from smoking is something I do several times a year. Like Warren, I really don't care what anyone else thinks about my smoking a pipe. It's a filthy habit, but somebody's got to have it and it might as well be me.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  56. redglow

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    I don’t smoke a pipe for the nicotine. I smoke it for all of the other reasons. Flavor, relaxation, diversion, history, friendship etc.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  57. tufftony

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    I really don't care what anyone else thinks about my smoking a pipe. It's a filthy habit,
    but somebody's got to have it and it might as well be me.

    Is smoking any filthier a habit than driving a car? Think of all the
    toxic fumes cars put out, carcinogenic fumes that poison the air of
    our cities and that are being breathed in every day by everyone.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  58. warren

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    It's not a competition with regard to what's filthier. We're conversing about pipes, not the state of the world's air quality. Cars v pipe is simply disingenuous. Most of us here accept the reek. A few have spent moneys to minimize the damage to walls, carpets and clothes, success varies of course. Most of us accept the reek. Some wear it as a benign sign of aging rebellion. I enjoy the musty smell myself. If we smoke in our vehicles, we accept we probably won't see high Blue Book for the trade-in. But, that applies to dogs in the vehicles also.

    Most of us simply like to discuss blends, pipes, the grand kids, the new car, first bass of the year, etc. A few, I'm one, enjoy the harmless verbal combat that sometimes occurs but, you seem to come here seeking confrontation. I've tired of it. It was fun for a bit but, now it's simply wearing. Might feel different in the morning though. Faithful readers, stay tuned!

    However I can't resist one last observation regarding the following quote of yours: "I think the notion that we really smoke pipes for a "nic hit" is effectively refuted by the fact that most pipe smokers do not
    inhale."

    You've totally dismissed the absorption through the membranes in the mouth and nose? Serious omission should you be hoping to bolster your arguments. And, only a few of us seek the "nic hit." Most simply enjoy the pipe and blend of choice The nicotine is mostly an unnoticed, unnamed, unacknowledged yet, enjoyable part of the experience for the majority.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  59. sablebrush52

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    Is smoking any filthier a habit than driving a car? Think of all the
    toxic fumes cars put out, carcinogenic fumes that poison the air of
    our cities and that are being breathed in every day by everyone.

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/is-nicotine-a-red-herring#post-1336650

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/is-nicotine-a-red-herring#post-1336652

    Posted 2 months ago #
  60. User has not uploaded an avatar

    bullet08

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    took me awhile to stop smoking cigarettes. vape helped a lot. i still crave cigarettes, but don't have the need to drive out at 2 in the morning to buy me a pack. and it's been awhile since i had a cigarette. then, why did i turned to pipe. vape was just missing something. it just wasn't tobacco. it had nic in it, tastes great, no crappy feeling on tongue in the morning, but was not tobacco. pipe smoking, even without the inhale, fills all the things i missed. not sure if it's nic or something else. and i'm not going to look into it. it works for me and i'm satisfied.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  61. skydog

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    I think alcohol is the most apt comparison. There are plenty of people who enjoy fine wines, expensive liquor, or craft beers and they rarely get a sideways glance from most of society. Yet if you took away the alcohol and its effects would those folks still enjoy the drink as much? Alcohol can be a terrible influence on some people and other people enjoy it in moderation for decades without any serious negative consequences.

    I think tobacco is the same, there are addicts who have a higher chance of cancer because of the way they partake in or the large amount of tobacco they consume and then there are people who enjoy it more moderately. Any use of alcohol or tobacco will increase your chances of some terrible disease or ailment but you can also enjoy them in moderation and stand a good chance of living as long of a life as if you had abstained. Or we could all die from a meteor tomorrow or get hit by a bus on the way home. Life is funny that way, I'd rather enjoy it with an eye toward the future and healthy living but not at the expense of some moderate tobacco and alcohol use that brings me joy.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  62. brian64

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    Denial is in Egypt. Deny what? I smoked. Smoking is not a healthy habit, and not all pleasures are healthy. Taking a break from smoking is something I do several times a year. Like Warren, I really don't care what anyone else thinks about my smoking a pipe.

    I was assuming you would recognize that I was being facetious. But perhaps you weren't really following the conversation (can't say I blame you for that).

    Of course I don't think you're in denial. I have no problem whatsoever understanding both your quitting cigs and your description of your pipe smoking. Makes perfect sense to me.

    I was simply trying to illustrate to Warren that what you described regarding your pipe smoking directly contradicts much of his dogma. As does what many others here have described.

    I think alcohol is the most apt comparison. There are plenty of people who enjoy fine wines, expensive liquor, or craft beers and they rarely get a sideways glance from most of society. Yet if you took away the alcohol and its effects would those folks still enjoy the drink as much? Alcohol can be a terrible influence on some people and other people enjoy it in moderation for decades without any serious negative consequences.

    I think tobacco is the same, there are addicts who have a higher chance of cancer because of the way they partake in or the large amount of tobacco they consume and then there are people who enjoy it more moderately. Any use of alcohol or tobacco will increase your chances of some terrible disease or ailment but you can also enjoy them in moderation and stand a good chance of living as long of a life as if you had abstained. Or we could all die from a meteor tomorrow or get hit by a bus on the way home. Life is funny that way, I'd rather enjoy it with an eye toward the future and healthy living but not at the expense of some moderate tobacco and alcohol use that brings me joy.

    Very well said Skydog...I couldn't agree more with all of that.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  63. sablebrush52

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    I was assuming you would recognize that I was being facetious. But perhaps you weren't really following the conversation (can't say I blame you for that).

    I both knew that you were being facetious AND I wasn't following the conversation that closely.

    I'm SO looking forward to the day that this forum gets decent emoticons. These just suck.

    I was simply trying to illustrate to Warren that what you described regarding your pipe smoking directly contradicts much of his dogma. As does what many others here have described.

    Oh, I understood that as well, no worries. Warren has his way of expressing his position and he's entitled to it. Referring to smoking as a vice doesn't bother me in the least. Hold on while I light up a bowl...puff...puff...
    The danger, as I see it, is in seeing things such as possible addiction, economics, or dogs playing poker, as black or white. There are various levels of gray.

    It's possible that the bus could get hit by a meteorite and I'd get turned into hamburger by the shrapnel.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  64. tufftony

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    Warren writes:

    A few, I'm one, enjoy the harmless verbal combat that sometimes occurs
    but, you seem to come here seeking confrontation.

    Once again, you are wrong. As a member of a forum I always try to stimulate
    discussion
    about matters that seem to me to be relevant to the forum. I think
    you'll agree that the threads I have started have generated a huge amount of
    discussion and have succeeded in perking the interest of many members. I will not,
    of course, allow insults to go unchallenged. Perhaps you are mistaking that as
    "seeking confrontation" although there is nothing I detest more. Is the fact that
    I discovered that pipe cleaners can be washed and re-used an example of "seeking
    confrontation"? Is disagreement with the opinions of others "seeking confrontation"?
    Of course not; it's simply disagreement. You seem to want everyone to think the same
    but what you fail to realize is that when everyone thinks the same no-one is thinking.
    And I guess it's the fact of thinking having been introduced into your forum that
    has upset you. But why respond to my threads if they upset you? You can always ignore
    them.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  65. davek

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    I really like Cosmic's mention of different types of tobacco use actually differing in effect. The ends of the spectrum might be cigarettes being relaxing while I find chewing tobacco to be quite stimulating in comparison. With a pipe, I get my nicotine absorption in my mouth like with chew, but from smoke instead of direct exposure to tobacco juices. I might ramble more about that later.

    As to addiction, I found this on pipedia a while back as to lung cancer risk. The data may be spider poop, I dunno, but it seems to be spot on to me as to the risk associated with pipe smoking. It's likely that it would correlate with addiction as well. It would be logical that risks of any sort would increase with level of use.

    *************************************
    Lung cancer risk index study

    Non-smoker 1.0 (base number)
    Cigarette – 20 grams / day; 16.0 (i.e. 16 x the risk of non-smokers)
    Cigar – 20 grams / day; 3.2
    Pipe – if > 10 bowls per day; 6.7
    Pipe – if 5 bowls per day; 3.2
    Pipe – if 3 bowls per day; 1.5
    Pipe – if 2 bowls per day; 1.26
    typical - 2 bowls every 2-3 days; ~1.05 (almost same as non-smoker)
    (Source Webline – reviewed 22 articles. 21,520 smokers studied between 1969 – 93)
    *************************************
    https://pipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_Smoking_Health

    Warren, you are 100% correct. We *can* see that our habit is surely better than cigarettes, *but* that a majority of pipe smokers might fall into the range of at least doubling lung cancer risk. Also, I think that mouth issues are much more likely in a pipe smoker. It is what it is.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  66. chasingembers

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    you seem to come here seeking confrontation.

    I was thinking the same thing.

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    jeff540

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    I enjoy the taste and aroma of smoking pipes and to a lesser degree cigars. I gravitate towards blends that are very light in the nicotine department, so no, nicotine is not an important aspect to my pipe smoking. I do feel slight relaxing awareness, but not jittery like caffeine.

    In fact, too much nicotine and I get nauseous. There are many popular blends that I can't get past the charring light without getting sick: GH Dark Birds Eye, any Gawith rope, many of the Wessex flakes just to name a few. Sucks because I enjoy those flavors also.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  68. sablebrush52

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    And I guess it's the fact of thinking having been introduced into your forum that has upset you.

    You introduced thinking into this forum? Isn't that illegal in some states? Will you be bringing fire next?

    Warren, do you have some sort of bullseye on your back? You seem to be a lightning rod for, ahem, strong personalities who make a commotion and then flame out. Who can ever forget the immortal brightleaf?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  69. warren

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    A battle of wits isn't all that much fun when the foe is unarmed.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  70. brian64

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    In fact, too much nicotine and I get nauseous. There are many popular blends that I can't get past the charring light without getting sick: GH Dark Birds Eye, any Gawith rope, many of the Wessex flakes just to name a few. Sucks because I enjoy those flavors also.

    That is an extreme sensitivity...I can't imagine what your reaction to chew would be.

    I feel fortunate to apparently have a much higher tolerance. I'm smoking Dark Bird's Eye right now without having eaten anything yet and only notice a mild and pleasant nic effect...but the flavor is fantastic.

    You introduced thinking into this forum? Isn't that illegal in some states?

    Not yet, I don't think.

    But it is widely considered to be an offensive vice.

    Will you be bringing fire next?

    That was Haja...another immortal!

    Posted 2 months ago #

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