30 June 2010
Gone by the Wayside: Tobacco Pipes
To-day in Gone By The Wayside we feature an art that has all but burnt out, if you can forgive the pun. Reaching Greece and Rome from Eastern neighbours in ancient times to be expanded across the West to the Celts and Germanic tribes, pipe smoking is the oldest, most traditional form of smoking tobacco. Smoking a pipe has long symbolised leisure and sophistication. In recent times, however, pipe smoking has become less appealing to younger generations, resulting in its decline.
At Swell & Dandy we are not medical doctors, nor are we scientists. Medical professionals claim that smoking tobacco leads to many health risks and may shorten ones life. We will take no position on this statement, as medicine is not our expertise. However, there are several studies that suggest that pipe smoking, as opposed to cigarette smoking, is less dangerous. A study appeared in a 1990 issue of The Compleat Smoker which suggested that men who smoke pipes, on average, live to be 78 years old compared to the 76 years of the average non-smoking male. Studies also indicate that pipe smoking is less addictive than cigarette smoking and that pipe tobacco contains less addictives. Again, we don't profess to be a science journal, but rather a gentleman's guide. Our guidance is that a gentleman who enjoys a pipe is certainly classier than one who puffs on cigarettes.
We are not suggesting that every gentleman should take up smoking. On the contrary, there is something admirable in a man who is free of habit and vice. However, for those chaps who do smoke, smoking a pipe may be worth looking into. Remember that pipe smoking is an art. One must work at it before one masters it, but the sophisticated relaxation is well worth the effort.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Ultimate Pipe Book and also have a look at this list of notable pipe smokers. Pipes and pipe tobacco are available at one's local smoke shop.