Pipes are for Everyone

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If I asked you to close your eyes and conjure up in your mind an image of a person smoking a pipe it’s almost a foregone conclusion that image you would have in your mind would be of a man smoking a pipe. And it’s almost as much a foregone conclusion that the man smoking the pipe would be someone who was perhaps the wrong side of 60 rather than someone much younger.

That’s the stereotype we have of pipe smokers these days. They’re men, they’re old and they’re probably out there smoking their pipes on a park bench or rocking chair on their front porch. It’s extremely unlikely that your mental image would be of a younger male and even less unlikely that your mental image would be of a female smoking a pipe.

Don’t feel bad if your mental image didn’t conform to what society expects a pipe smoker to be because it’s been drilled into us for some years now that pipe smokers are male and probably quite advanced in years.

That’s not quite the reality today. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal published an article reporting that one the latest trends on college campuses is pipe smoking. In my travels to different pipe shows and in talking to different pipe makers, factories and tobacco producers this year, everyone confirms that pipe smoking is seeing a resurgence.

Our beloved hobby is in a growth stage that is broad-based. (No pun intended.) I for one, am quite happy to see young men and women discovering the pleasures of pipe smoking. Without them, this hobby will die. Then where are we going to get our pipes and tobaccos when it’s no longer economically feasible to produce such products for a market that is too small?

It’s an interesting correlation that we currently have more pipes and tobaccos to choose from then we have had in over a decade. (More on that in future article in this column).

Pipes are for women of all ages
There is no immutable law of the universe that declares that women can’t smoke a pipe and there’s certainly no law that says only older women or less glamorous women can smoke pipes. In fact there are women out there today who are breaking that stereotype and more women are joining them every single day.

Women such as Victoria Beckham, Lisa Bonet, Kirsten Dunst, Sophie Hawkins, Janet Jones and Andie MacDowell have all been photographed smoking a pipe and you can find many more if you do a search on Google for ‘female celebrity smoking list’. At least one glamorous pipe smoker has been featured on the front cover of Playboy too. So the stereotype of pipe smoking not being an acceptable pastime for women is about as wrong as tongue-bite.

Victoria Beckham Kirsten Dunst
Lisa Bonet Janet Jones-Gretzky
Andie MacDowell Sophie B. Hawkins

And while I’ve just listed a number of glamorous or famous women who smoke a pipe it’s not something that’s restricted to rich and famous women. These days everyone from college students to housewives and professional women all enjoy the pleasures that we men enjoy when we smoke a pipe.

Pipes are for younger guys
Remember that mental image you had of a crusty old guy sitting on the park bench or a rocking chair on his front porch smoking his pipe? Well pipe smoking is for younger guys too. In fact the whole idea that pipe smoking is for older guys is quite a recent invention.

All you have to do to disprove the "old-guy" image is to go back to images of the type of advertising that was in use from the 1950s and 1960s and you will see plenty of examples of younger guys and their pipes. In fact if you were to believe the marketing in those days Mr. Average American had a pretty wife, 2 perfectly balanced children aged 9 and 10, lived in the suburbs and smoked a pipe. These retro ads from the late ’40’s and ’50’s depicted male pipe smokers as young, hip, single guys, and this is true again today!  (Prince Albert Pipe Tobacco Ad from 1947) (Sir Walter Raleigh Pipe Tobacco Ad from 1959 )

Somewhere along the way the idea that pipe smoking was only something older guys enjoyed has developed and now we’re stuck with that stereotype too. And it is just a stereotype … there is no good reason why only older men should smoke a pipe.

The taste and all the other good things that go with pipe smoking are just as relevant for younger guys as they are for older guys and in many ways the stress relief that can be yours when you smoke a pipe is more important for younger guys who are trying to succeed in today’s fast-paced world.

Pipes are for couples
Now there’s a radical thought but it’s certainly one that is gaining a lot of traction. If smoking a pipe is a great way for guys or girls to unwind and reflect on life then wouldn’t it be so much better if couples were able to share such a pleasant pastime together?

If couples shared the pleasure of pipe smoking there would no longer be any need for the male pipe smoker to be banished to the cellar … or his den … or somewhere out in the garden. Instead he could remain as part of the family and enjoy his favorite pipe and the company of his partner in life as well.

So let’s dispense with the outdated idea that pipe smoking is something that’s only suitable for old guys who are waiting out their last days on the planet. Let’s toss out those stereotypes that have built up over the years that pipe smoking is not something a woman would ever engage in.

Let’s face the fact that pipe smoking is for everyone who wants to enjoy the finer things in life and have something they can sit back and enjoy at any time of the day.

57 Responses

  • Very true. I am 46 years old. I have never smoked cigarettes. I love cigars, but can’t afford them. For the same $20 that will buy 1 cigar. You can buy a months worth of aged world class tobacco without the nasty chemicals that are in most cigarettes. Also, once you get the hang of properly packing, and puffing a pipe, one can enjoy some serious stress relief. And look cool in the process.

  • Intersting view point. My girlfriend was the person responsible for me taking up the hobby. She starting using a pipe at the suggestion of one of her girlfrinds who was a closet pipe smoker to help her break the ciggerate addiction. Sometimes during small get togethers there would be three or four
    young ladies smoking pipes. So what could I do but join in. It has become a nice shared hobby for the both of us and she is becoming some what of an expert on pipes and tobacco. But like a lot of ladies she is a bit shy and will not smoke in public or talk about it around people she dosen’t know. I suspect that there are more ladies of the brier that we just don’t know about. I hope publications such as this as well as your photos of “Pipe Babes” will entice more ladies to step up and light up. By the By do we have any ladies in our membership

  • Whenever I have a bowl my wife wants a sip. Now she has her own pipe and favorite blend (Artisan’s Blend). She doesn’t smoke much, and she’s still a bit diffident about it, but she has to admit that she likes it when she does it.
    Also, in the Downtown Toronto Pipe Club most of the members are under 35, and the membership is slowly increasing.
    Oh, and don’t forget Millicent Fenwick — grandmother, publisher, state senator. There’s a great picture of her lighting up in the senate chamber.

  • Great article Kevin!
    I really think all pipe smokers need to come out of the closet. I know that there are a lot more of us out there than the ones who admit it.
    It is nothing to be ashamed of and we really need to stick together!

  • My wife has been a pipe smoker since the 70s. She picked up the hobby from me and has quite a collection of her own pipes. In fact, she was last year’s winner of the Jacksonville Briar Squires pipe club smoking contest.

  • The pictures above are great. Like most people, when I thought about pipesmoking, I only thought about old grandpas. I thought I was an exception, because I started at age 20. My wife laughs when I smoke a pipe and calls me “Grandpa”.
    Until a few years ago I never thought about female pipesmokers until I saw one in an old movie from the 60s (too bad this woman was only visible for like 2 seconds, in the background).
    Anyway, when I look at this pictures above, I gotta say: they look really cool – some of them are very sexy with the pipe. My favorite pictures on this side are the ones from Sophie B. Hawkins (I love her songs, even though usually I only listen to Heavy Metal), Lisa Bonet and the unnamed girl in the blue dress and the red ribbon on her wrist.
    The only picture that surprised me is the one of Victoria Beckham. Does she really smoke ? I may be wrong, but the pipe that she holds looks like the “Lord of the Ring” pipe from Vauen.
    Anyway, I really gotta say thanks again.
    Pictures like this are great advertising for pipesmoking.

  • Thanks for the comments Jochen. Yes, Victoria Beckham does smoke. It has been somewhat widely reported in the media in past years, but more on her cigar smoking. Funny thin is I haven’t actually seen any pictures of her smoking a cigar.

  • I am intrigued about the young college age crowd both men and women taking up the hobby in this JEL world. I agree that it is essential to our hobby/pastime. Bob makes a great point about closet pipe smokers. I was sitting on my front patio this summer enjoying a smoke and this young family walked by. The child says “Mommy, what is that man doing?” The mother replies, ” He is smoking a pipe, doesn’t it smell wonderful?” That is a RARE incident in this day. I am sure there are plenty of people who witness the same scene and label me as eccentric and odd. (I get accused of that without my pipe sometimes). Interesting article.

  • I think you are eccentric and odd classicrider. Just kidding! It is nice when you get an unexpected positive response like that isn’t it?
    While window shopping downtown on a recent Sunday, my darling girlfriend decided to go into a store to try on some clothes. I stayed outside to finish my pipe.
    When I finished and went inside the ladies clothing store. A middle-aged woman inside the store saw me holding my pipe and commented; “I can smell your pipe and it smells so good!

  • Kevin, since you mentioned window shopping … More then once the following happened to me: I was walking around the town when suddenly I smelt pipe smoke. I looked around and I saw an older man smoking a pipe.
    For me, pipe smoking is so unique and special. If you know and love it, you instantly recognize it.

  • I am the ripe old age of 27 and absolutely LOVE smoking my pipe. Some times I get the “Isn’t that for old men?” comments, but for the most part I am met with curiosity. I am sure I have influenced more than guy on the golf course to put down a cigar and pick up a pipe. Heres to the next generation!

  • I love this article. I’m a 26 year old personal trainer/ bodybuilder and I love smoking a pipe! I use to smoke cigars but to be honest i’m wayyyy more relaxed chilling and smoking my pipe. Plus like dunendain said you can buy a $20 cigar or buy a months worth of tobacco for your pipe with that same $20. I just smoked a cigar last night and to be honest after starting to smoke a pipe I prefer a pipe smoking wayyy more!! Here’s to more pipe smokers coming out and no matter what walk of life you are from or male or female, enjoy being a pipe smoker!!

  • I enjoy smoking a pipe much more now too Skylor. Back on Labor Day weekend I went to a cigar bar with some friends and had one of my all time favorite cigars, a Padron 1964 Anniversary.
    I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do one of my moderately favorite pipes and tobaccos.

  • Ahhh yes a Padron 1964. I like the Padron 1926 better myself but they are both great cigars. But none of my use to be favs like the Opus X or Forbidden X cigars really do it for me anymore. I much rather kick back with one of my favorite pipes and smoke it. Nothing like packing a bowl and to me its a process and then enjoying it. Nothing more gratifying than that!!

  • I really doubt it…Of all the younger people I see smoking pipes the guys don’t know how to do it property and the gals just have em for fashion accessories. There is a reason more people don’t smoke pipes and that is that it takes a fair degree of patience and time. You need to learn how to pack the bowl the right way, smoke at a certain pace, maintain your pipes, and seek out both the pipes you smoke and tobacco you will smoke in them (beyond the corner gas station).
    The pastime attracts a certain kind of personality, which is not to say that that personality cannot come in the form of all the demographics listed above, but the majority of them will not be. If this changes and pipe smoking is beginning to appeal to your average hipster or frat boy at university then the company we pipe smokers keep will have taken a steep dive indeed.

  • Dek, that is exactly the opposite attitude and thinking we need to keep the immensely enjoyable hobby of pipe smoking around for many years to come.
    The way you talk, you would prefer to have pipe smoking be a private fraternity where you have to fill out an application and pass a test, and then meet with some council’s approval.
    This is not a site for “Pipe Snobs”.
    We welcome everyone into the world of pipe smoking, but we do not welcome pipe snobs here on PipesMagazine.com.
    Feel free to go smoke by yourself.
    Your arrogance does not fit in with the hundreds of other pipe smokers I have met in person and on this site.
    Everyone I have met will anxiously welcome any and all new and old pipe smokers. If they need help or advice on “how to do it right”, we are much obliged.
    This is true even though there isn’t really a way to “do it right”. Sure, we have how-to articles and advice here, but we are not Nazis that force someone to do things our way.
    If everyone were like you, pipe smoking would have been extinct a long time ago.
    Luckily, we have more choices in pipes and tobaccos than we ever had, and it certainly isn’t because of an elitist mindset like yours.

  • Dek,
    I guess I don’t meet your profile of the “PERFECT” smoker…
    I’ll have to stay with my REAL pipe friends that don’t mind my Corn Cob, Captain Black, Pipe Nail, Plaid Tobacco Pouch & BD Strike Any wear Matches.
    We’ll just sit back, laugh and enjoy ourselves as we talk about you with your nose in the air & a frown on your face because nobody wants to smoke with you.
    Is there a “College, School or Academy” to attend for pipe smoking? If so please post the link so we call enroll and how many credit hours is it good for?
    Dek, you almost remind me of a dog breeder that I came across once… but that’s another story…

  • I seem to be late in stumbling upon this controversy, but aside from that “steep dive” comment, I think Dek has made an interesting observation. It is that pipe smoking, with its high PITA factor, selects for persons with particular characteristics (no need to elaborate on them here.) People who pick it up as a fad, as younger, more capricious, and more distracted people are apt to do, will likely abandon it as soon as their evolving circumstances make pipe smoking burdensome.
    If that happens, we can only hope that the seeds of contentment, sown by their youthful dabbling in the “art of the pipe,” will take root at some later time, to their edification and delight.

  • I’m glad this site straightened me out immediatly. Upon making a comment on not finding much comment on Dr. Grabows And if I was a real pipe smoker even though I didn’t have a Savinelli or Peterson and was promptley set straight that pipe snobbery didn’t exist on this site and a even cob was more than good enough. What did I do ?
    Promptley went out and bought my color “Duke” and I’m going to be the proudest
    flashiest pipe smoker on Matunuck Beach this summer.
    As a matter of fact I’m waiting for a new Grabow Royalton to be delivered. Can’t wait to show you the pic’s gang.
    Power to the pipe!! (any pipe)

  • Brazz, you smoke you’re Dr. Grab on Matunuck , and I will smoke mine on Zuma Beach: coast to coast.

  • Starting from the 17th century, right up until the mid 20th century, people from all walks of life, smoked a pipe. I yearn for those days, when high society men and women smoked pipes in the theater, and the average guy smoked in a local pub or eatery. Pipes were for anyone who enjoyed the fine meditative art smoking. That’s the way it should be now. No snobbery.

  • As for pipe snobbery, I want to tell you about something that I experienced once in a pipe store:
    Back when I was about 20 years old, I already smoked pipe. I owned like 3-4 pipes but I wanted another one. I knew there was a small pipe store about 15 miles away from my home. So one day I got into the car and drove to the pipe store. I can’t remember if my hair was long or short (I had very long hair but I had to cut it because I had to serve 10 months in the german army) – I think they were still long back then. Anyway, that day I wore army camouflage pants and a black Heavy Metal shirt (since I was 12, until today, aged 34, I only wear Heavy Metal shirts)
    So you can say I really did not look like your typical pipesmoker. I went to the store and told the clerk (or was it the shop owner ?) that I am interested in pipes – I was really curious how he would serve me …
    Well, he didn’t care a bit about my outfit. He served me as if I would wear a $1000 dollar suit. It seemed he noticed my basic knowledge, so we talked about an hour just about pipes … and of course I bought one.
    So you can say this was pipe un-snobbery at it’s best.
    P.S. 3 years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) searched for an apartment. We found one – about 20-30 yards away from the pipe store

  • The only thing that I’m PISSED about is that someone is dictating to US that WE should be sitting in a high-back leather chair wearing a smoking jacket tamping our tobacco by their standards and smoking a pipe that is one weeks salary and snub any and all others that don’t do the same.
    YES, I would like to have a high back leather chair, a pipe that cost more than $35.00 and be able to sample all the different flavors/types of tobaccos produced, but guess what, I’m a common man that enjoys the simple things in life and I have a family to take care of and support… SO for whoever doesn’t agree with this… STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!!!
    So with my little rant, which one of the following do I not conform to?
    These two definitions go along with the following posts:
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.[1]
    Political correctness:
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term denoting language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social offense in gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, handicap, and age-related contexts. In current usage, the terms are almost exclusively pejorative, connoting “intolerant” and “intolerance” [1][2] whilst the usage politically incorrect, denotes an implicitly positive self-description. Examples include the conservative Politically Incorrect Guides published by the Regnery editorial house[3] and the television talk show Politically Incorrect. Thus, “politically incorrect” connotes language, ideas, and behavior, unconstrained by orthodoxy and the fear of giving offense.
    “Don’t judge me monkey”~ Grandma’s Boy

  • I agree that pipes ARE for everyone. Whether it be a $5.00 cob filled with Captain Black or a $1000.00 artisan pipe filled with Balkan Sobranie.
    Although we are not a site for ‘Pipe Snobbery’, we allow everyone the right to express their opinions. But by expressing your opinion, you must expect and allow others to do the same.
    Dek, I do not agree with your opinion. If everyone thought the way that you do, pipe smoking would have become extinct by now. And if people still think that way, pipe smoking WILL die off and cease to exist. It has already started to happen as quite a few notable people of the ‘old guard’ in pipe smoking have already passed on. Without the younger generations to carry it on, pipe smoking will be a thing of the past that people talk about instead of doing and enjoying.
    We at PipesMagazine.com encourage the younger generation to get involved and to start enjoying pipe smoking. No matter what race, gender, religion, or walk of life that they are. Pipe smoking should be enjoyed by everyone. I agree that pipe smoking does take time and patience to learn how to properly enjoy it. We try to encourage, nurture, and help out all people, including the younger generations, on their pipe journey so that it will become more enjoyable for them. This is what, in my opinion, a true pipe lover should do. We do not segregate ourselves and put ourselves on a higher pedestal than other pipers. A piper is a piper.
    In the times of old, everyone smoked a pipe, not just the ‘intellectual superiors’. By saying that a certain type of people should not smoke pipes is preposterous, demeaning, promotes the classification of people, and is just plain snobby. Not to mention, applying labels to people whom you don’t even know.
    And by saying that if these type of people start smoking pipes that “the company we pipe smokers keep will have taken a steep dive indeed” is very offensive. What company are you used to keeping? I am sure that a 20 something new pipe smoker is not looking to hang out with and keep the company of a 50 or 60 something snobby curmudgeon.
    Dek, I am not saying that you are a 50 or 60 something snobby curmudgeon because that would be putting a label on you and I don’t do that to people.
    Well, I’m off to smoke a pipe with some people, who might seem to others as, “company that have taken a steep dive.” But we will enjoy our pipes all the same.

  • What a bunch of dekheads. I smoked cigars when I was 19 yrs. old in 82, because there was a brick & mortar next to the record store I frequented. I started going in there in the beginning for Drum, and loved the smell of those cigars. I did get strange looks and comments from people who, thought it seemed out of place for a skinny guy with long bleach blond hair and a gold whoop earring, to be smoking a rather large Dominican. I never gave a flying shite, what others think of me. I am too old to care now.

  • as reluctant as i am to weigh into this debate, i have to say that i do kinda see where he comes from in some parts.
    the honest truth is that i dont share the opinion that if pipe smoking became commonplace that we would associate with a lower class of people – at all. BUT i do believe that there is a certain truth about what he said regarding the majority of younger pipesters out there. At the end of the day, being a younger pipe smoker myself, i havent seen that many people who are my age who are serious pipe smokers around my city, nor in many other places i have been to.
    I believe that nowadays, there are only a fraction of younger people thinking about smoking pipes, than there were, say, 50 years ago. This is a reality.
    where i dont agree is that youngsters cant smoke properly (noone can until they learn!). I also dont really get a hardcore elitist feel from his post either regarding what we smoke. I believe that his direction was to say that there is a big pipe world out there, and that its a treat to explore. Some people will never experience a properly made pipe, or a really fine quality tobacco if they only source their supplies in drug stores = and this is a shame – although im not saying that all drugstore pipes and tobaccos are bad. i have pipes ranging in price from 10$ to 500$ – and i enjoy them all – i am by no means a pipe snob – nor would i feel better than a person smoking a cob with capt n black. *i own a few cobs – they are awesome!*
    maybe the method of delivery wasnt entirely satisfactory, but what i took out of the post is that, even tho we would all love society to smoke pipes again in abundance, unfortunately there are less of us taking this up nowadays. I believe that generally pipe smokers are contemplative, relaxed and often intelligent. I have never seen an agressive, angry, stupid pipe smoker = this could be because its a different hobby to cigarettes and requires a certain way of thinking, or desire, or patience, or whatever.
    It does take time to learn, and with pipes and tobaccos being more expensive nowadays, perhaps people dont learn with as wide a range of trial and error, nor do they have the level of pipe mentoring they used to have access to – this could also contribute to people trying a pipe, not liking it, and switching back to cancer sticks. They are easy, cheap and convenient.
    I would say that pipe smokers are a certain breed, but i would also say that we are a very diverse lot too – not a secret fraternity by any means, but definately not joe average.
    the weird thing is that we all end up here, from all walks of life, voluntarily. And often our only similarity in terms of life, background, and habit, is that we like smoking a pipe.
    and i think thats just fine with me 🙂
    smoke in peace friends…

  • Placing my two cents in the bucket for the ladies, I might get some funny looks when I go for an evening walk, pipe in hand (I am in my twenties) but I get a lot of positive comments also, people of all ages love the way my pipe smells and find it fascinating that a woman would smoke a pipe. Very rarely do I get negative comments from anyone who thinks that I should be a grumpy old man, sitting in a over-sized leather chair, swirling a glass of $500.00 brandy. Guess what folks! My tobacconist is a woman, I am a woman and my woman friends smoke pipes, we love to get together sitting around on our micro suede couch, and smoke some nice $4.00 an ounce tobacco.
    Snobbery I think not, pipes are for anyone who has the desire to pick it up and put it in their mouth. I think anyone who thinks that pipes are for the rich, or the old…can smoke, old, rich and alone.
    Put that in your pipe, and I hope it bites you!
    Happy smoking folks!

  • @ mrsmokeyma
    You said “I believe that nowadays, there are only a fraction of younger people thinking about smoking pipes, than there were, say, 50 years ago. This is a reality.”
    Yes, I think this is true. Nowadays there are less young pipe smokers then 50 years ago. But I think there are a few reasons that should be mentioned:
    Smokers of all type (cigarette, pipe, etc.) and age got less, while anti-smoke campaigns got more and more.
    I can only speak for Germany, but just as an example: until a few years ago, most restaurants had a part for smokers and a part for non-smokers – in the same room. Nowadays, smoking is prohibited in all restaurants, unless they have a separate smokers room (and the door has the be closed all the time).
    Also the costs: I still remember, when I was a young kid, my aunt once sent me out to get a pack of cigarettes from a vending machine (who also got less and less). I still remember, she gave me 4DM (that was in the 80s, nowadays that would be 2€). Today, a pack of cigarettes costs 5€ … so they got up from 2 to 5 € and most of it is just tobacco tax.
    Also, I think pipe smoking is not very hip or trendy. Personally, I don’t care what is trendy, but many young people do. And just by looking at this page, it is obvious that many non-pipesmokers think, a pipe smoker is an old guy sitting in a big chair … imagine, a young person sits together with his friend and starts to smoke pipe … I am sure, a few of them would start laughing. I still remember when I was sitting together with some other guys when I smoked a pipe, aged about 18 … they all laughed at me. I told them to F.O.A.D.
    Another reason why there are less pipesmokers: it takes time to smoke pipe. But nowadays, life got faster, and most people don’t take the time to smoke a pipe. I mean, just compare it with food. Nowadays many people eat fast food. Either they can’t or they don’t want to spend much time on food. Same with pipes. Smoking a cigarette is easier and faster.
    So, all this just shows one thing: we can’t afford pipe snobbery. Instead, we should be happy about every young person who smokes pipe. Even if this person quits after some time … maybe another person sees it and starts to smoke pipe …

  • I agree with Jochen Piper =) Everything has a beginning. My 18 yr. old son’s friend, who smokes cigarettes, came over the other day, and he showed interest in my smoking a pipe. He said he would like to quit cigarettes, because in California they are 7 dollars a pack. So, I gave him a quick lesson, and told him where to buy a corncob pipe. He said his father smoked a pipe and perhaps, he could use one of his. Maybe, it was because me, my sons, and this young man skateboarded together, a couple of years ago, that he saw me as more cool than his dad, that he thought it was ok, when he saw that I smoked a pipe. It has to begin somewhere.

  • I’m twenty-eight and have been smoking a pipe for about two years. I get funny looks sometimes while walking around or driving but also alot of compliments. I guess I don’t fit the bill a “typical pipe smoker”. I started smoking my pipes to get off cigs and it worked. I will continue to smoke them until I fit the typical old man with a pipe image. I learned everything I know about smoking my pipes by trial. I find them much more enjoyable and satisfying than cigs,So if I’m bad company among pipesmokers oh well I’m here to stay. I encourage alot of people to give pipe smoking a try and see if they like it. Everyone has an opinion, thats that.

  • Amanda, Nice to hear from a young lady that enjoys a pipe. During WWII cigarettes were in such short supply, due to the vast majority being to sent to the troops, that there was a large increase of ladies taking up pipe smoking. Because of the cost of cigerettes nowdays due to taxes I suspect many ladies will try pipe smoking as a way of holding down the cost. I’ve been a casual pipe smoker for around five years. After the initial investment of a pipe or two I find the cost of pipe smoking to be next to nothing. So consider yourself to be ahead of the cruve. Not to mention pipe smoking as a hobby can be an enjoyable pastime were as smoking cigerettes as an addiction is expensive an unhealthy.

  • Good article and interesting thread..
    One thing occurs to me. Go back to around 1991-92. Young guys and women didn’t smoke cigars much. They started catching on again about that time and just skyrocketed in popularity. I was in my mid-twenties (I’m 42) before I ever smoked a serious cigar. It wasn’t “cool” when i was in college. I could easily see pipe smoking hitting a similar tipping point. There’s some sort of a stir afoot, especially with all that’s going on in the smoking industry.
    In the article Kevin references in his intro there is discussion about Sykes Wilford, owner of Smokingpipes.com. At 28 years old (then) he doesn’t fit the profile of a guy who’d own a pipe shop. He and his friends gained an interest in pipe smoking while in college and he started the shop when he graduated.
    Having a young prominent player in the market can only help to change perception.
    And with the rising interest in Hookah and Shishsa, along with what I sense to be a rebirth of pot smoking in the younger generation, a pipe is not totally alien to today’s yutes.
    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • I feel it in the air. The change is really happening. I have seen more smokers under 40, than ever before. I just hope it stays legal and affordable.

  • Romance of the pipe is just that.
    Some folks are pipeflashers, only as deep as a drunken escapade on a saturday night.
    There’s those folks with that secret longing, never spoken, afraid to confess it. Oh, what might have been.
    You do get the fairly steady ones, they give it a good try but.. just don’t hold up in the end.
    And every now and then there comes along a person who gives pipesmoking that honest deep love. They take the time to learn and know all the secret and goodly ways. They are rewarded tenfold of their labor and so what they profess is missed by the others. They might be scorned, or dismissed. They could be misunderstood and judged. But they KNOW.
    So much for the romantic twaddle of a lady pipesmoker. I’m going to go have another.

  • Ohhhhhh Girl, “the wrong side of 60”? OUCHHHHHH
    Ya gotta remember something my friend, if it wasn’t for the old farts that smoke pipes, you wouldn’t have the awesome choice of tobacco blends that are so enjoyed by many. Years and years of experimenting go into these blends and it’s us old fogies that torched our tongues, wasted our hard earned money and made enemies in crowded rooms with our stinky pipes so the art of blending could become refined to the point it stands at today. I forgive you for your “wrong side” comment if you will just enjoy your pipes and tobacco knowing that one day you will reach “the wrong side of 60 also! LOLOLOL Keep Da Faith

  • Wonderful..!! Just wonderful..!! Nice to be part of the pipe enthusiasts of the world..no more punishing cigarrettes !! Nice to be done with them….and on with the much sane’r and pleasant lifestyle that pipe tocacco brings. Amen.
    Joe N.

  • In 1975 I would have never thought a woman would be seen dead with a pipe stuck in her mouth, too brash and gaudy. However 35 years later and baby do I think it’s hot. This coming from a 57 year old male. Keep on puffing.

  • I dont think I have ever seen a woman smoke a pipe or cigar in real life.
    But on another note.. That Pipe Babe Chelsea has the best blue eyes I have
    ever seen.

  • Hey Phil, take a powder baby. It’s all good man! Nobody can take our chosen vices away! They’re ours to any degree and nobody elses.

  • Hey folks no need to beat up on Dek or Phil or anybody. I’m sure there were and are a ton of people with similar attitudes. It’s why they make cobs, Grabows, and Medico pipes and have them available at convenience/drugstores and some supermarkets! For those who feel they have more money to spend there are B&M’s with larger price tags and higher quality merchandise. Back in the founding days of our art it wasn’t seen an art. The people just used tobacco and the vessel necessary to smoke it was some sort of pipe.
    But we all do the same thing. We put tobacco in a container and burn it.
    As for ‘pipe babes’ and pic of women smoking pipes they’re pics that are set up. I personally would appreciate, if ya got to show ‘women smoking pipes’, much more candid shots, or only candid shots. Funny how ya don’t see ‘Men Smoking Pipes’ pictures. Any male photos are usually or always somewhat candid or a portrait with a pipe, and are usually someone from movies or a MacArthur type pic.. Get my Drift?

  • i think there need sot be a heck of alot more pipes that have feminine appeal. maybe smaller more petite bowls. Possibly a small jewel in the stem or in the top of the shank of a briar. I had an aunt who smoked a pipe. When she left this world he pipe and accessories were left to me. The pipe was what we today would call a featherweight/petite,(1/2″ x 1/2″). It just seemdd to fit female genre as we are accustomed to it. Don’t get me wrong there is tons of pipes and accessories out there for anybody. I myself smoke alot a large bowl pipes. But at the same time I’ll grab a smaller bowl for a quickie if I’m on the run. Yeah pipes are portable and too many guys seem to forget that part of the art.
    Let’s see alot more smaller bowls come to the forefront of sites that sell pipes! Sites that DO offer featherweight/ small bowl pipes seem to run out kinda quickly, wonder why? Hmmm…

  • Bob don’t think pipes will ever go extinct. Take a man’s pipe away and he’ll find a way to smoke. Even if it’s like in the Woodstock movie where the guy folds aluminum foil around a pencil and fashions a bowl at the end then removes the pencil, Voila! a pipe. Q pinch of tobacco and a match and there ya go. Granted in the film I do believe the the bowl’s intentions were for tobacco but hey the guy made do just like we will if pushed.
    I had the privelege of being influenced by my father as he was a pipe smoker. On my 16th birthday he handed me a cello-wrapped pipe and tobacco and said,”Boy, if your’re going to smoke , smoke this”. A pipe and two packs of Prince Albert. Man what a dad! That was just about 40 yrs ago.

  • Great article! I think one reason the pipe smoker image tends to be of an older person…(male or female…for example, I remember a few depictions of female pipe smokers in movies, but they always seem to be older women, such as in The Grapes of Wrath where grandma smoked a pipe…there was also an older woman pipe smoker in The Outlaw Josey Wales)…I suspect is because pipe smoking requires patience, which most people acquire more of with age. But pipe smoking also gives patience…and tranquility, relaxation and peacefulness.
    As the modern world became more and more industrialized and corporatized…more and more fast paced…it is unfortunately obvious how the wonderful tradition and experience of pipe smoking got left behind. But I think we have reached a point where the pace, stress and disposable nature of modern life is causing certain types of people to desire and make room for something like pipe smoking, which is imbued with the above mentioned attributes that are missing from their lives.

  • well, here i am smoking one of my pipes when i came across this article.
    (how many do i have? doesn’t matter)
    (what pipe am i smoking? doesn’t matter)
    (what tobacco am i smoking? doesn’t matter).
    point is, i’m smoking my pipe and enjoying it. and i’m happy to say that i’m a relatively new pipe smoker. it wasn’t until about one year ago that i really got the bug. my wife was supportive from the start and just the other day i gifted her her first pipe. she had been trying mine more and more and decided it was time for her to commit. 🙂 and she was super happy to have the opportunity to break in her new pipe.
    in many ways we are an example of what you spoke of in your article. i’m in my mid 40’s and my wife in her mid 30’s.
    95% of the time i smoke my pipes at home (we’re lucky to have a front porch) so many of our friends are just now becoming aware of my hobby, i have to admit i was a bit hesitant about letting people know due to assumptions of their reactions, but so far everyone thinks it’s great and now two of my friends, women, have taken up pipe smoking as well. and i think more are going to join this new wave soon enough.
    and just today i attended a meeting of my city’s local pipe club which in the last year or so has been losing speed. the meeting was great and now we’ve breathed new life into this club with new members and new ways to outreach to the community at large. the club is really about one thing, getting people that love pipe smoking together, no matter what walk of life, pipe collection, favourite tobacco, etc. that’s it, plain and simple. strip away all the pretension and you have a pipe, some tobacco and a human being.
    now if you’ll excuse me, my pipe has gone out and i wish to return to it.
    happy puffing!

  • Wow! New to the site, and I have been digging up the past. Like a kid in a candy store. I agree with many posters here and disagree profoundly with Dek. All pipe smokers are cool, no matter what brand of pipe they smoke nor what type of blend they prefer! We need to welcome all to the world of pipes. I bounce from GL Pease blends to Good ol Captain Black (White). Although I like Dunhills I can’t afford them (wish I could), and its a rare day that I go out and buy an estate one. We’re talking major sacrifice here. So I stick with my Petersons, which consistently deliver. But I have had GREAT smokes even with my Dr. Grabow pipes. So we should not practice elitism here and I agree with Kevin on this one. We need to stick together in this age of discrimination against smokers.