Originally posted by Asktheanimals
ROLL YOUR OWN!
Or start smoking a pipe if you want to reduce your tobacco use. Pipes aren't any safer to smoke, but they're more labor intensive
A few years ago, I tried switching to a pipe, and I discovered the truth of the matter.
First of all, you can't smoke the same pipe every day
— the briarwood bowls need time to recover
from a typical day of smoking;
otherwise, the wood will expand, warp, and your pipe will fall apart. So, you smoke one pipe in a day, then set it aside to rest
for about a
This means that you need at least 7 pipes — one for each day of the week, and you smoke them in rotation.
Next, there's selecting and purchasing tobaccos for your pipe(s), which is no simple matter, either. The American tobacco industry has taken a lot
of big hits in the last couple of decades, and the demand is down
by as much as 75% over what it was in the 1970s. Which means that American
tobacco farmers aren't producing as much for the American consumer.
Oddly enough, the Europeans sell more American tobacco than Americans do. So it's actually cheaper and easier to get good quality American pipe
tobacco in Europe than it is in the USA. I've bought Dutch, German and British blends that say, right on the label, that they contain Virginia
tobacco. And a quality European pipe tobacco is a million times better
than the junk you buy in American drugstores and supermarkets.
Next, you have to care for and maintain your pipe to ensure a clean, cool smoke. This entails gently scraping the bowls from time to time, running
pipecleaners through the stem, and using alcohol solvent to clean out resin build-up, etc. Some pipes even need an oil-based wood conditioner to keep
from drying out.
As for the actual act of smoking the pipe, there's a whole protocol of proper loading, igniting and imbibing. There are so many schools of thought
on the best way to load
a pipe, the topic can be (and is) the subject of whole websites. Same thing with smoking: Some say you should only
the smoke, not inhale it; others say, sure
, go ahead and inhale; while others still will tell you to smoke open-mouthed, blending
the smoke with fresh air. Et cetera, et cetera...
After I got heavily into pipe smoking for a couple of years, I realized that I wasn't smoking nearly as much
as I did with cigarettes —
simply because following all the "proper" techniques of pipe preparation and smoking was like changing a flat tire every time I wanted a fekking
Seriously, it was taking me maybe 5 minutes to load and fire up and tamp down my pipe, and that was BEFORE
I ever started enjoying the tobacco.
Granted, a properly loaded pipe can burn for as long as 30 minutes, and you can even extinguish it and come back to it later to enjoy a fuller flavor
— a technique known as "delayed gratification"...
Anyway, when I realized that I was spending more time preparing
to smoke a pipe than actually smoking, I gradually switched back to cigarettes
— which can be whipped out and fired up in 3 seconds flat. That's called instant gratification
Accordingly, my tobacco intake skyrocketed when I went back to cigarettes — the damned things are just too easy
However, as you may know by now, my tobacco smoking days have ended, rather abruptly and not altogether at my choosing. I had a stroke on Wednesday,
which my doc attributes to my smoking; so now I'm wearing a nicotine patch, taking Chantix and puffing on an electronic cigarette until I beat the
But I can still TALK
about tobacco, dammit, Jim!
— Doc Velocity
[edit on 5/29/2010 by Doc Velocity]