We all know that cigarette smoking is bad. It is bad for you, it smells bad, it makes you and your things smell bad… However, sometimes it is nice to sit back and have a smoke.
I first started smoking a pipe as a way to quit cigarettes. I didn’t want to be a “smoker” anymore, but I loved to relax with a smoke. I tried cigars for a while, but there is a certain cost and commitment to enjoying a good cigar. Spending a couple hours per night and $30 + per day on a good cigar defeated many of the benefits of quitting smoking cigarettes.
I decided to try a pipe, and started off with a cheap pipe, and a bag of Captain Black Royal. (I know most pipe snobs are shaking their heads right now, but having just come off of cigarettes, the Captain Black was a very nice flavored change… Seriously, If you are a cigarette smoker, it doesn’t really matter what you smoke from your pipe for the first week or so, the cigarettes have screwed up your sense of flavor anyway.) I would also suggest figuring out what type of “drug store tobacco” you find tolerable early on, because sooner or latter you will find yourself in a strange city without tobacco, and need to buy something from the local drug store.
Of course, once you have your taste buds back, you will want to move on to a better quality tobacco. There are many types of pipe tobaccos and I can’t even make a guess as to what you may like. My suggestion would be to order a sampler pack online, or go to your local tobacco store and get a variety of small amounts until you figure out what you like. Most people due tend to start off with aromatics because (unlike cigarettes) they smell great. However, if you are coming over to pipes from cigarettes, you may want to go for an English blend or straight Virginian.
Another tip for the new pipe smoker is: have more then 1 pipe. Some people will say have a different pipe for every day of the week. Some will say that you need to let a pipe rest for 1 day for every bowl smoked out of it. (So if you smoke 4 bowls in one day out of the same pipe, you shouldn’t smoke that pipe again for 4 days) This isn’t necessary, but isn’t a bad idea either. However many pipes you think you need, if you enjoy pipe smoking, you will soon find yourself with a bit of pipe envy and eventually have more pipes then you need. (I currently have 5 pipes I rotate between. I have more, but I can’t seem to find all of them). Pipes themselves are made from a variety of materials, and in a variety of ways. You can a $4 corn cob pipe, or a hand carved Briar Pipe. You can smoke from a classic strait pipe, or a “Sherlock Holmes” style curved pipe, you can them short or long, with small bowls or large ones…. Try different thing and see what suits you.
Although I wouldn’t recommend smoking a pipe if you are a non smoker, I would say to any cigarette smokers out there, put out that cancer stick, and get a pipe like a classy man.