Breathe smoking Q&A

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judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
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I think the only way I'm going to make any progress with this technique (and I very much want to as I suspect it will produce the most enjoyable form of pipe smoking) is to ask a series of questions that address where much of my confusion lies.
1. Assuming you're clenching when breathe smoking, as opposed to holding the pipe in situ, are your lips sealed around the stem, or is performed with the Clint Eastwood cigar snarl?
2. If mouth sealed, you are presumably breathing through the nose only?
3. If breathing through the nose only, how is smoke drawn into the mouth?

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
25,035
27,187
1-sealed

2-yes

3-you create a vacuum in your mouth, your breathing is just used as a metronome for drawing, not drawing itself

 

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pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,210
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Assuming you're clenching when breathe smoking, as opposed to holding the pipe in situ, are your lips sealed around the stem, or is performed with the Clint Eastwood cigar snarl?
A: My lips are sealed around the pipe and my tongue is used to quickly plug the stem if I want to retrohale. Otherwise, every few breaths, I allow some to flow out of my mouth.
2. If mouth sealed, you are presumably breathing through the nose only?
A: I do breath through my nose only when I'm breath smoking, other than exhaling as described above.
3. If breathing through the nose only, how is smoke drawn into the mouth?
A: Even just breathing through your nose creates a pressure differential that draws smoke in to the mouth. More aggressive draws can be done, of course, but even just normal breathing cadence will move smoke back and forth.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,479
1,957
Lexington, KY
1. Assuming you're clenching when breath smoking, as opposed to holding the pipe in situ, are your lips sealed around the stem, or is performed with the Clint Eastwood cigar snarl?

My mouth is generally closed, but it's not a necessary condition. I just try not to walk around with my mouth agape.
2. If mouth sealed, you are presumably breathing through the nose only?

Yes. I only breathe through my nose while breath smoking. If I need to breath through my mouth (because of exertion), I either slow down or stop smoking.
3. If breathing through the nose only, how is smoke drawn into the mouth?

Like Duane said, it's just like drinking through a straw. Slowly let your mouth fill with smoke (either actively or passively drawing smoke in), and when it gets comfortably full, get rid of it by blowing out, retrohaling, or just letting it leak out.
It really seems complicated until you 'get it'. At which point it's far and away the most natural way to smoke a pipe. Stick with it! Passive smoking revolutionized pipe smoking for me.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
813
59
UK
1. My lips are sealed around the stem most of the time and until I feel I want to let a little smoke seep out in which case I allow my lip to open ever so slightly. I do that every 20-40 seconds most probably. It's so subtle you probably wouldn't even see it and the only give away is a wisp of smoke. And it really is just a wisp.
2. Yes, I'm breathing through my nose.
3.
Even just breathing through your nose creates a pressure differential that draws smoke in to the mouth. More aggressive draws can be done, of course, but even just normal breathing cadence will move smoke back and forth.
This. As you breathe through the nose, you are creating a subtle pressure difference in the mouth. Inhale through the nose is creating just enough of negative pressure in the mouth to gently draw small amounts of smoke into the mouth and keep the ember going. Exhaling through the nose is creating a positive pressure in the mouth and forcing a little air and smoke back into the pipe which also keeps the ember going. Occasionally wisps of smoke will also come out of my bowl.

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
25,035
27,187
Something that hasn't been mentioned is that through the entire process, no smoke is intentionally inhaled.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
21,781
12,295
Helena, Alabama
I'm setting here testing whether there is any benefit to keeping my lips sealed around the pipe or not, and the smoke is only allowed to go back out through the pipe... which is ok. But, usually I am just walking around doing stuff while breathsmoking, and I am not really thinking about the process at all. My lips aren't sealed, nor is my my mouth agape. The smoke just sort of drifts out as I breath through my nose. Not sure why it would be best to force the smoke back out through the pipe. But, everyone has their own style of doing this. You're having to think about it as you learn, but soon enough, you just stick a pipe in your mouth, light it, and do or think about something else.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
813
59
UK
Not sure why it would be best to force the smoke back out through the pipe
It's not necessarily. It's just a side effect of breathing out your nose with your lips sealed around the stem. It's just the physics of it. The effect can easily be mitigated but explaining that is a little trickier I think. I don't think many, if any of us who do this breathe smoking thing are really thinking about it. It's just the natural way we smoke the pipe and it does seem that each person has a slightly different way of going about it. For instance, I have seen Embers explain how he does it several times over the years and he seems to imply that he is sucking in some sort of manner. I have never found the need to do that.
I wonder how many have learned about this from another smoker and how many have just found it out themselves and I wonder what percentage of non-clenchers do it compared to clenchers. I clench my pipe about 90% of the time I'm smoking it and when I'm clenching I'm breathe smoking. When I'm not clenching I don't believe I ever really breathe smoke.

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
25,035
27,187
he seems to imply that he is sucking in some sort of manner.
Not at all. Only creating enough vacuum to coax the smoke out. No where near the force of drinking with a straw.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,262
6,275
Austin, TX
I remember someone recommending that new pipe smokers clench heir pipes when they smoke and then the breathe smoking part will just come naturally. I am a clencher and after watching a Stuff and Things episode on the subject, I totally agree with him, breathe smoking is not necessarily a technique but a normal cadence that most experienced pipe smokers, especially clenchers do naturally. I do this but I’ve never called it breathe smoking. Still get more out of it than just a tiny whisper of smoke though.

 

judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
7
Very informative set of answers. Thank you, peeps.
As it turns out my somewhat guessed attempts at doing this weren't far off the mark. I just wanted some guides to see how close I'd got.
Just one thing, though. As mentioned by others, this technique sometimes results in pipe smoke going in the other direction, i.e back out of the bowl. When this happens to me it often results in my pipe going out. Any suggestions to prevent this?

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
5,957
8,113
So, just park the pipe there and forget it whilst you go about your business?

 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
25,035
27,187
When this happens to me it often results in my pipe going out.
May be packed too loose.
So, just park the pipe there and forget it whilst you go about your business?
Yep
I would think forcing smoke back through your pipe would be a very bad idea, given how much moisture is in your mouth/breath.
Less forcing and more ebb and flow. I exaggerated the process in the video I did just to emphasize the process. When I'm actually smoking you'll rarely see any smoke at all.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
21,781
12,295
Helena, Alabama
Hawky, some tobaccos that I smoke give off more smoke than others. Some are a heavier smoke, some thin. I think the point of where that bit of information comes from is encouraging one not to focus on making a freight train's worth of smoke. But, I wouldn't focus on that one part too much. When I smoke Burley Flake #1, the smoke is as thick as coalsmoke. But, I still try to keep it sparse... for my own enjoyment. The idea is to leave the smoke in your mouth, not worry so about expelling so quickly. Savor the flavor. Let it just flow out on its own. You absorb more nicotine this way, and some get more enjoyment. But, as always, YMMV.

 
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