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 Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?

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Bub

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Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:32 pm

I visited our local pipe/cigar tobacco store today. On previous visits when I walked in pipes were by the door, pipe tobacco was just a few steps beyond and cigars were in the back. Today when I walked in the store was filled with a low hanging cloud of cigar smoke, several guys were puffing away on their favorite stogies, and the pipes were relegated to the back of the store.
The clerk came back to see what I wanted and commented that they would not be open if they could not sell cigars. I know that the owner is an avid pipe smoker, who exhibits at our local pipe show, and was smoking a Former pipe when I came in last time.
I bought a sample of tobacco that I wanted to try and looked for a rope that I could follow through the cloud of cigar smoke to get to the cash register.
Is this what pipe smoking has become...the little brother to cigars?
Bub
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richmondesi

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:11 pm

I don't think it is the little brother of cigars. I think it is the forefather of cigars that people look at as being too fussy to be modern. This is the reason that I came to pipes. I learned from shaving that going back to the older way is better in some cases. Using a brush, good shave soap, and straight or double edge razor provides a much better shave and shave experience over cartridge razors and goo in a can (this is a fact that I will not argue... it's just the way that it is).

I was hoping that getting a good briar and quality tobacco would provide a better smoke and better experience. The jury is still out on that for ME, but I don't think that many of you would say cigars are better or on the same level as a good pipe smoke (based on the passionate discussion about pipes). I readily concede that I could be wrong about that.

I see traditional wetshaving and pipe smoking to be parallel lifestyles in many respects.
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kilted1
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:24 pm

To me at least, pipes. or cigars is very much apples and oranges. I LOVE them both, unfortunately, my taste in cigars being what it is, I can't afford them very often. The pipe for me offers much greater value for money. I think I enjoy the pipe more, simply because I enjoy it most often. That said, when I'm in the middle of an A Fuente Hemingway Maduro, or a La Gloria Cubana Serie 'R' Maduro, I wonder 'can I ever enjoy a pipe again?'

The pipe also has value that a cigar never will, I mean, does anyone keep their cigar stubs around for years? Didn't think so ...
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LL

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:28 pm

kilted1 wrote:
I mean, does anyone keep their cigar stubs around for years?

Puff Daddy does. Twisted Evil
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kilted1
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:41 pm

LL wrote:
kilted1 wrote:
I mean, does anyone keep their cigar stubs around for years?

Puff Daddy does. Twisted Evil


lol!

That's EVIL
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Justpipes
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:04 pm

I have never been a cigar aficinado. The pipe is the only thing that does it for me. I dip snuff as an alternative to not being able to smoke a pipe at will and also for the nicotine punch. I've tried cigars and don't mind smoking one occasionally but I just don't really care for them much. Then again I don't know much at all about cigars. Concerning the pipe, nostalgia also plays a part for me. My father smoked a pipe. ironically his father (my grandfather) was a cigar smoker and if his feet were on the floor he had a cigar in his mouth. Optimos to be precise. They both also chewed tobacco.
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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:11 pm

A year ago, I was smoking 4 or 5 cigars a day.
Now it's a couple a week, if that.
Yesterday I had a terrific Party Short
and today a Bolivar Corona Extra.
These days, when I want one,
I only reach for my better smokes.
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Mikem
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:32 pm

I'm just happy that four of the cigar shops here in Phoenix carry a large selection of pipes and blends. But I also realize that the majority of their bread and butter comes from the selling of cigars (which I also partake in on occasion).
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Midnight Blues
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:41 pm

I do enjoy a fine Cigar but for the most part when I'm smoking its a pipe. I was at my local B&M on Friday to pick up the spring issue of Pipes and Tobaccos magazine and I asked the owner if there was any interest in pipe smoking any more and she said "yes, as a matter of fact a father and son came in last week for the son's 18th birthday, he wanted to take up the pipe just like his father."
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Dock
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:17 am

We're a definite minority Bub, that much is obvious. Some friends and I were trying to figure out how many of us there really are. We figured that 20% of our population smokes something. Over 18% smoke cigarettes exclusively, 2% smoke cigars regularly and pipe smokers represent less than 1% of smokers. Of those probably only 1/4 have ever seen a Dunhill pipe and quality leaf. Most smoke drugstore pipes (medicos,grabows,cobs) with drugstore tobacco (Captin Black, Middleton's Cherry, Grainger) . To them the pipe is strictly a vehicle for nicotine!

We're the last of a dying breed I suppose, but I kinda like being a black sheep in a lily white world cheers
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richmondesi

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:21 am

Danish_Pipe_Guy wrote:
We're a definite minority Bub, that much is obvious. Some friends and I were trying to figure out how many of us there really are. We figured that 20% of our population smokes something. Over 18% smoke cigarettes exclusively, 2% smoke cigars regularly and pipe smokers represent less than 1% of smokers. Of those probably only 1/4 have ever seen a Dunhill pipe and quality leaf. Most smoke drugstore pipes (medicos,grabows,cobs) with drugstore tobacco (Captin Black, Middleton's Cherry, Grainger) . To them the pipe is strictly a vehicle for nicotine!

We're the last of a dying breed I suppose, but I kinda like being a black sheep in a lily white world cheers

Hear, Hear!
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Justpipes
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:22 am

Midnight Blues wrote:
I asked the owner if there was any interest in pipe smoking any more and she said "yes, as a matter of fact a father and son came in last week for the son's 18th birthday, he wanted to take up the pipe just like his father."

cheers cheers cheers

I believe as has been evidenced here that pipe smoking is actually on the rise among our younger brothers and sisters. Though that number might be small it is still on the rise none the less.

When EJ and I visited JM Boswell's last week, JM's wife gave us a tour of their new huge smoking lounge which is literally the size of a small ranch house complete with kitchen and four smoking rooms. She told us that it has become the local hang out of the young folks in the area and most are taking up the pipe. They even stock a commercial refrigerator for them with drinks and refreshments. It was really quite awesome.

About a year or so ago, my son whom I had already introduced to the pipe (he smokes Walnut by the way Very Happy ) came over with four friends and asked me if I would be kind enough to allow them all to pick out a pipe so I pulled out a couple of boxes full of lower end pipes and let them all pick one. I also set them up with tampers, cleaners, matches, etc. We then had a smoking lesson and all set around smoking pipes that evening. While I don't think that they smoke on a daily basis I know that they all get together on mostly Sundays to sit and smoke their pipes. This all really came about out of honor for one of their good friends who was a Marine and young pipe smoker that lost his life at 21. Jeff, who lost his life serving and defending our country was a fine young man and pipe smoker. He spent many days and nights here at my house from the time he was approximately 10 years old until the boys graduated and I use to always see him looking at my pipes and he would ask me a lot of questions about them. Low and behold when he came of age though it was brief he smoked a pipe. These are just small examples of the younger generations taking up the pipe. I know many more and see more and more visiting the B&Ms these days.
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gkhanna74



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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:09 am

It makes sense that tobacco retailers depend on cigar sales -- they can sell a lot of them at decent margins (30%+) b/c you only get 30-60 minutes out of a cigar whereas 2 oz of pipe tobacco at the same price point will last 15-20 bowls (30-60 minutes per bowl). Even the "expensive" pipe tobaccos are a bargain compared with cigars.

Personally, I love pipes and cigars. I am stocking up on cigars before the April 1st SCHIP tax goes into effect b/c the $0.40/stick tax, while not a huge deal, is enough to set me back in these tough economic times. While I love cigars, I appreciate pipes as the purest way to appreciate the myriad of flavors/nuances of tobacco --- and like a favorite old baseball mitt, I appreciate how my pipes continue to "grow" with me as the years go by, unlike a cigar which is lost in ash forever. I began pipe smoking 12 years ago, and I have never sold a pipe from my collection (which numbers 48) b/c of the emotional attachment I have to them.

I agree with the shaving analogy by the way.
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gkhanna74



Location : Massachusetts
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:09 am

I meant to write that I have 48 pipes in my collection.
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satchmoses



Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Younger smokers   Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:12 pm

I'm another younger smoker who can attest to the renewed popularity of pipes. I started about six years ago with a Grabow and some drugstore tobacco when I started grad school. It was an affectation at first - an English grad student under the spell of Lewis and Tolkien and their briar love. And somehow, despite a crappy pipe and junky baccy, I kept with it. My collection is still relatively small - only 20 pipes, a percent of some of the guys here - but I have a story behind each one. (Two small children and a grad student's life make restraint necessary.) And for me, it's part heritage - in fact, my parents just came for a visit bringing my grandfathers' pipes - both sides! Drugstore pipes, all of them, but I'm always amazed by what good wood some of those drugstore pipes had in the 40s and 50s.

I never smoke in public without someone complimenting me on the smell. So who cares if we're in the minority?
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:18 pm

I actually started smoking a pipe ---years ago (fill in the blank, but please be kind) in high school when you could burn leaves in the fall. My father took me to the Dunhill store in NYC, but neither of us knew what we were getting into. I became more serious about pipes in the 60s and acquired some Charatans, GBDs , Sasenis and even a Camoy. I have fond memories of walking into a pipe store and the visions of all those beautiful straight grain Charatans that were so inexpensive in today's dollars, but would insure our financial future.
Bub
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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:40 am

Danish_Pipe_Guy wrote:
We're the last of a dying breed I suppose, but I kinda like being a black sheep in a lily white world cheers

I like being a black sheep too!
I was visiting my local B&M this past week picking up some pipe cleaners and such. Just before I went in, two students from Va Tech (which is literally across the street) dressed in their Cadet uniforms went in before me. The owner was helping one choose a pipe off the wall discussing the relation of face shape w/ pipe shape & I was able to join in the discussion putting in my .02 worth about my favorite shapes. Anyway the guy got his pipe, a bag of counter baccy, matches, tamper, & cleaners and out he went...Enjoy! I shouted as they went out the door. I talked to the owner about his pipe sales as I was paying for my stuff, he said he had sold 5 pipes that day!; granted they are the no names off the wall rack but it's looking promising. He said many students are picking up the pipe & there is already a strong cigar club there and many of them smoke pipes as well.
So my hope is that enough of the new generation will keep pipe smoking popular enough so that we are no longer a "back of the store" minority.
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richmondesi

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:22 pm

I have found a guy that is pretty young that smokes a pipe in nearby Tyler, TX. He was telling me that it seems that pipe smoking seems to be really making a resurgence (especially with college age guys). He was telling me about his myspace pipe group. It seems like there is hope!

Smoke 'em if you got 'em
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CPT/VSG



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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:56 pm

Given the never-ending barrage of anti-smoking propaganda, people who smoke any form of tobacco are probably going to be a dwindling minority. But, that is not to say that pipe smokers, in particular, will become extinct.

I first took up pipe smoking as a college freshman in 1971, most likely because I was an English major and the scent of pipe tobacco filled the English building. My faculty advisor smoked a pipe...in the office and in class, if you can imagine such a thing! I continued smoking a pipe until the early 1980s when the real decline in pipe smoking began. The early 80s marked a time when many great pipe stores went out of business and many fine factory brands, Sasieni and GBD to name just two, went to hell. In my case, my favorite store, Smokers' Haven in Columbus, closed its doors in the early 80s, Sobranie, and then Germain, stopped making SH's house blends, and the pipe world then was kind of in flux.

I only smoked the occasional cigar and somehow avoided the cigar boom of the 1990s but started smoking cigars passionately in 2001. That's what ultimately led me back to the pipe. I began amassing a pretty substantial cigar collection and bought a Bob Staebel Aristocrat to hold them. But, my orientation toward cigars changed in November 2007. I was in Chicago for an annual meeting and, as I always did when in Chicago, I spent my afternoons at Iwan Ries. Although on that trip I was only smoking cigars there, I spent most of my time at the pipe counter catching up on all that had changed in pipe world since I had left it more than 20 years before. Something just clicked and over the course of the next couple of months I got my old collection of GBDs out, cleaned them up and started smoking a pipe again. By summer 2008, I was selling a chunk of my cigars to convert into briar.

Why this long-winded history? I think my arc of involvement with pipes mirrors the experience of many. Cigars, not cigarettes, got me into smoking but, after a while, the variety offered by pipes becomes a stronger attraction. I rarely smoke a cigar now and when I do, the cigar flavor seems mono-chromatic compared to the techicolor flavor of pipe tobacco.

My sense of the future of the market is this--that it will always be relatively small but that it is growing incrementally. Cost, ultimately, will be a driving force as taxes on cigars increase. Pipe tobacco is still a bargain pricewise, even with the small SCHIP increase, but cigars are not. One cigar I like is the Davidoff 5000. I used to buy boxes of them; they now retail for over $360 a box. Think of what you can buy in pipes and pipe tobacco for $360. I think many cigar smokers will migrate over to pipes because of price as, apparently, are many younger people. This board, and others I read, seem to gain new members daily, many for the reasons I've described.

While the hey days of pipes will never return, I'm cautiously optimistic that this sub-culture will survive. It may be, however, that the B&Ms will continue to expire (or minimize pipes) but at least there are many outstanding on-line retailers to meet demand.
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Rail Man

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PostSubject: Re: Cloudy and overcast...what has pipe smoking become?   Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:47 pm

As much as I would like to see more high quality pipe stores, it's OK with me that cigars are what keep a lot of these stores going. If it wasn't for the cigars, there may not be any pipe stuff! It's probably more likely for someone to come in off the street and buy a cigar every once in a while than just pick up a pipe and some tobacco, so it's good that the B&Ms can use those occasional sales (in addition to the loyal customers) to support at least some pipe stuff for "the rest of us." On a side note I seem to flip back and forth between cigars and pipes, usually sticking with one for several months before flipping back. Right now I'm cigars, but when BaBs shows up later I will probably flip again cheers

Also on a positive note I was at Iwan Ries' today and saw a young man like myself in there buying his first pipe. There is still hope!!
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