Why smoke a pipe?

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gatorlope

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2019
482
89
South Florida
For me, I have a literary bent and what comes to mind is Frost’s “The Road Less Taken” and Twain’s comment that “A pipe gives an intelligent man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth!”

I detest cigarettes, never cared to try snuff and have only bought an occasional cigar when it was the last one in a box that had craftsmanship that I wished to add to my collection.

My only experience with chewing tobacco was when a friend and I were on a farm (14 years old) and one of the old farmhands offered us each a “chaw” and suggested that we see who could chew it the longest. I finally spit it out after my friend turned green and spewed! It was truly awful!

Over the next 50+ years I remained a non smoker (a technicality - I’d smoke 3 or 4 pipefuls in a year), but started to collect hand carved meerschaum pipes, starting with some eBeklers that I picked up when a pipe shop went out of business.

Now that I’ve retired I’ve taken more of an interest in tobacco and have been experimenting with different blends to see what appeals to me.

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,339
660
For me, I like the process of drying, packing, and lighting. I like how pipe smoking forces you to slow down.
I only have maybe 1 or 2 bowls a month probably, so it's a special treat to be able to sit down with a pipe.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,494
23
For the nicotine. The added values of flavor and interesting implements, along with identifying as a minority, also, too.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,635
In the beginning I tried just holding the tobacco in my hand to smoke it, but it gets hot fast, and it's harder to keep lit. Getting into pipes has helped me maintain the use of my hands... which has improved my love life. :puffy:

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
17,239
3,275
A pipe gives an intelligent man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth!
Considering the ever rising cost of smoking, you may want to reconsider that quote.
I use most forms of tobacco and just for the nicotine.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,635
Considering the ever rising cost of smoking,
Compared to cigars and cigarettes, pipe tobacco is still wildly less expensive. Even if prices doubled, it would be the cheapest form of smoking, if you compare the amount of time smoking a pipe to the various other forms.

 

carver

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2015
622
1
Belgium
Personnaly, I find there is something magical about it, that I haven't really grasped yet. It feels liks the great minds that smoked reached, while smoking, an ether that us commoners that don't puff can't touch. Sherlock Holmes solving puzzles counting time in bowls, Einstein referring to it ... It also feels like a quest, In Search of the Pipe Dream ... the Perfect Smoke like they say. Feels like a closed club, an aquired taste, a learning experience.

I love the discovery part of it, so many tobaccoes, so many pipes, so much to collect as well... so much money to waste, that's just great!
Also it's really cool to get the chicks ... :lol:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,635
When I smoked cigarettes, I would smoke a carton in 5 days, maybe 7 on a slow week. An oz or two at about $7, maybe $10 at a B&M, will last me a tad longer. As for doubling the price... if one is rolling their own, from RYO pipe tobacco, then if the price doubles, so does the RYO pipe tobacco. :puffy:

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
17,239
3,275
A pack lasts me 4-5 days and I have an antique trunk full of pound bags of RYO. I'm loaded for bear on all fronts.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,635
Well, comparative to pipes... if someone only smokes a bowl a day, that would equal about 10 cigarettes timewise. I have enough tobacco to last me longer than I will live, but the OP was about why smoke a pipe. I threw cost out there as one reason. I still don't think that cigarettes are anywhere near as cheap as pipes, and I live where I could still buy a pack for under $5, usually $3 and some change for a pack... and pipes are still cheaper, IMO.

 

drydock

Member
Nov 27, 2016
177
7
For me, I like the process of drying, packing, and lighting. I like how pipe smoking forces you to slow down.
I only have maybe 1 or 2 bowls a month probably, so it's a special treat to be able to sit down with a pipe.
Agreed. And also, I find such beauty in pipes--the history of shapes. I'm fascinated by what shapes strike a chord with certain people. (For me, it's primarily zulus and smaller bowled pipes).
The current wizardry with tobacco blends is also alluring--although I've now cellared more tobacco than I can reasonably get though, and I need to seriously look at thinning that herd. Excitement outstripped reason for several years--as did a rash of old-school blenders going out of business and the creeping spectre of tobacco becoming increasingly difficult to purchase.
I also realized I'm smoking more cobs and by default, collecting more briars.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,593
505
I looked at the title and thought he'd answered the question in the body of his post. I didn't think OP was expecting replies, just stating his observations.
Cosmic has it right though, holding the blend loose in one's hand as it smolders away and sniffing the pile .... A pipe is simply the best available tool for delivering nicotine and, most pipes are reusable.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
1,635
Also, taste. Folks that smoke cigarettes tend to be hooked on brands, so they never really explore flavors. Or, that was my experience. Plus, it's hard to taste cigarettes, because your mostly getting the paper and filter.

Cigars tend to be made with some mythic Cuban perfection in mind, so flavor ranges are very narrow... except for a few that may explore fire cured profiles or some infused flavors (blech).
But, with the pipe, you can explore all flavors and tastes that tobacco has to offer, plus some fruity tooty or even English soaps to boot.

 

p40warhawk

Member
Jul 18, 2019
107
15
Soooooo many different reasons!

I enjoy the taste, that rare time taken, of course Vitamin "N" and trying the different tobacco's. Mostly, I love the craftsmanship of the pipes themselves...
Dan

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
906
559
I'm with Cosmic - I like variety. I smoke cigars and pipes, and I drink bourbon and scotch, all of which I probably mention constantly in my various posts :puffy: As much as I like bourbon and cigars, they are one trick ponies in my book. All bourbons and all cigars are basically variations on the same overall flavor profile. Like pipe tobacco, scotch can vary so much from one bottle to the next that it might as well be an entirely different liquor. I'm confident that if someone who didn't know better sampled a Speyside and an Islay scotch next to each other, they would think that they are completely different types of drinks. Same goes for the various styles of pipe tobacco.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,988
1,690
Probably at least partly by family tradition, my dad and his dad and an uncle. Not for the nicotine. My dad smoked all the time from age 15 to 65, then quit. My mom loved cigarettes, but only for the drama, the gesturing; she never bought a pack that didn't go stale mostly unsmoked. I think I inherited her nicotine receptors. I can stop and start the nic supply without much reaction or craving. I can enjoy the nic buzz, but never pick out a blend for a dose.