Carcinogens of love burn in my bowl of joy. From a hobby to a reminder of a dead family patriarch, pipe smoking is many things to many people. Cigarettes are despised, yet aromatic pipe blends never fail to charm. Many times, bystanders just toss a glance of mockery or assume the pipe merely serves as an attention getter.
For smokers who know, it's not about winning the approval of non-smokers and certainly not a fashion statement. It's really about the love for the leaf, and a cigar just won't do. Cigarettes assailed my lungs, and then pipes won my heart.
Switching from cigarettes to pipes is nothing new. After buying my first pipe in 2001, I was told my father did the same in the '70s. Him and probably most fail at this; I did a few times until my recent success. Pipes are never to be inhaled; also most blends are too strong for the human lung. As smoking goes, cigarettes are pretty lame, but superior at nicotine delivery, filling the lungs with satisfaction.
Pipe tobacco offers nicotine of course, but only that which is absorbed through the mouth lining. The pipes' true advantage is the smoking experience, not mere addiction.
Common smokers apologize for smoking, smoke “light” cigarettes, and see little else in their habit but feeding a drug addiction. Mostly outdoors, I'm sure. This is one reason why living alone is a must. If you lower yourself to “ultra lights,” you may as well quit and suck on toothpicks. They probably started as part of adolescent rebellion or some such asininity. If this is their idea of smoking, they should just give up. Common smokers have already - at least politically and socially. I have no regrets or apologies. I love the leaf dearly and avidly.
Pipe tobacco is now my poison of joy and for the most popular reason. I live at the poverty line, and giving up cigarettes was my only way out of the hole. Pipe smoking, my favorite smoke, costs me less than 75 cents a day compared to roughly $6.70 on cigarettes. The latter figure is also my hourly wage. I might as well have been swilling Vicodin.