With any hobby that has a rich tradition such as pipe smoking, misinformation and errors are bound to arise. Recently, on the heels of the cigar boom, more and more smokers are beginning to discover the joy of pipe smoking. As a tobacconist I hear some wild theories and down right mistakes that constantly seem to follow this gentle art and this page is dedicated to setting the story straight.
Pipes smoking is expensive: If I were to tell you that you could smoke eight hours for $1.39 would that seem expensive to you? How many cigars or cigarettes would it take to smoke eight hours? One ounce of tobacco, if properly packed and smoked, will last you about eight hours. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day that equals to about $1095 per year! You could get seven $50 pipes, a $100 pipe rack, a $50 tobacco pouch, a $50 tobacco jar, $50 worth of cleaning supplies, and twelve pounds of pipe tobacco and save $255 for a really great lighter! To properly smoke a pound of tobacco a month would mean that a full 25% of the month would be spent in smoking! Pipe smoking is anything but expensive.
“I drool a lot when I smoke”: This comment is one of a myriad variations of the same problem all centered around proper pipe packing. I have heard that I must smoke a bent so the dottle will stay in the pipe to I have to smoke drier tobacco and so on and so on. All these comments lead to the same common solution; learn how to pack your pipe. To do just that, please refer to How to Pack Your Pipe; an article that addresses the whys and hows of pipe packing.
Filtered Pipes are Better: A quality pipe acts as a filter! Yes it is true and many people find this fact to be difficult to believe. Lower quality pipes often utilize cheaper briar that is more dense and cannot absorb the moisture and disperse the heat.
Pipes Burn My Tongue: This common problem is the result of improper packing. I have known people that have searched through hundreds of tobacco blends to find the one mixture that they can smoke. If you properly pack your pipe, you can smoke any of them and make your selection based on taste. For a review of just how to pack your pipe please refer to the article How to Pack Your Pipe.