I smoke a pipe because I enjoy it. I enjoy it because one it tastes wonderful and is a luxury that doesn't break the bank unless you want it too, it's incredibly relaxing and focusing. It's really creates a sense of clarity and reflection which I don't find in my other forms of tobacco use. I also love that each pipe is a legit companion that has gone through parts of my life with me. It's weird to smoke a pipe I had when I was a teenager and think about how much I've grown as person and as a pipe smoker (used to not even consider trying non aros until accidentally buying one in my 20's.
Almost forgot it helps me eat less junk food too as it scratches the treats itch pretty well.
For myself I enjoy the flavour, the taste and the ritual. I'm also drawn to the fact it's such a classic pastime. I envision pipe smokers 200 years ago and it makes me happy to carry on that tradition.
To add to my post #26, I resumed pipe smoking when my wife was in rehab after a hip replacement revision because of staph infection. It was pretty stressful, having lost my first wife some years before. When I got home from rehab at night, I needed a way to decompress and center. I joked to my wife that she had driven me to Cavendish ... just because that sounded funny, not because I smoke mostly Cavendish. Alcohol would have dulled me some and disrupted sleep I needed, slightly, so a pipe was a substitute. Still is, though I have a wine or beer with meals sometimes. While she was still in rehab, she bought me a gift certificate for a custom built pipe rack with tobacco cabinet, which is still a central piece of my pipe smoking.
For me, I asked myself that very same question of “Why?” rhetorically to myself when I was just a young kid, but I asked it about all three forms of tobacco my father indulged in (pipe, cigars, cigarettes). At my young age, I didn’t think it was particularly wise to ASK my Dad “Why?”. But, I kept thinking about it, first snuck a cigarette and found no answer (did not like it), then tried the stub of a cigar left behind in an ashtray by my Dad (again, it did not seem pleasant or particularly valuable), and then eventually, snuck one his many pipes and pinch of tobacco and went out into the woods and tried IT.
THEN I knew the “Why?” at least for me. As a delivery device, as Warren stated, it was of course quite beautifully proficient, and the “Why?” for me, was answered by the simple, yet philosophically complex notion that in doing so, I felt MORE myself, more alive, I guess I could say.