The comparison with coffee drinking has resonated for me as I have to have my morning cup!I haven’t really seen anything inappropriate but I have had people advocate by proxy, mentioning heated discussion in the past, recommending I not call it a hobby.
I didn’t see anybody suggest this. It might be. If you're looking for a loophole, this may not be it.
Based on your other posts, it sounds no more a hobby than eating dinner every day.
I never considered the word hobby indicating triviality. I know it is possible to be very passionate about a hobby. For instance: My career has been based heavily influenced by former hobbies.
You're on to something good with the word 'pasttime'. It resonates well, but seems to be missing some of the medicating/spiritual aspect to it.
You are on forums. I'd speculate that maybe your hobby is reminding us 'navel gazers' that smoking pipes isn't that complicated. When I've been over-thinking (one of my main hobbies) I appreciate the grounding.
This is a very valid point.
I wouldn't consider drinking coffee a hobby, but to some people it is one.
I also see risk in calling smoking a hobby:
“I’m not really addicted, it’s just a hobby. I can quit any time”
According to the propaganda, this how it starts.
Interestingly, the forum rules call pipe clubs a hobby. I’m just following the rules I'd consider the forum to be an open pipe club.
The sponsors probably call the forum good marketing. Things have different meaning to different people.
I don't have an addiction to coffee, as that is usually the only time I drink it. I have a favorite blend that I grind fresh and do a "pour over". Does that make me a hobbyist? To me, it is just part of my daily routine.
I was not happy with the characterization of pipe smoking as a hobby when I first heard it described that way, because for me it was just something I do every day.
The term hobby implied that it was more of an occasional interest, something pursued by dilettantes ("a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge").
Clearly I do embrace pipe smoking as a hobby as well since I am an SPC and NASPC member, participate in the forum and have far more pipes than I need just to smoke a bowl or two a day.
Perhaps someone can suggest a term that incorporates both the hobby aspect and the everyday nature of enjoying our pipes.