Boy, what a way to start introspection! I have to say I look at this as a hobby, since I feel in no way addicted to it. I don't get the jitters or cases of nerves if I can't smoke like my coffin nail consuming friends do. I can take a break from my pipes for weeks or months with no problems, other than realizing I haven't been taking enough quiet time for "me." I don't classify it as the type of hobby that others might, like woodworking, model building, fishing, hunting, etc. since there is much to be said for the careful study and practice that is inherent in developing a deeper level of understanding, skill, or proficiency with those types of activities. Once the basics are mastered, pipe smoking can be done on autopilot, as demonstrated by many of our mentors that could do almost any task while happily toking on a bowl of a trusted brand. At that point, if I have to have a pipe to be happy doing other things, I have moved more into the "way of life" category, but in the spirit of the above poster that used the phrase to soften the maligned concept of "addiction." The food and drink analogies above are good as well, but I must add my takes on those as well - some people look at those activities as basic necessities, while I look at them as hobbies, too! I could eat and drink to live, but I prefer living to eat and drink! It is much more fun to experiment with new foods, flavors, and technique to me, than to sit with a basic, standard menu. My love of new pipes and tobaccos is a direct reflection of my experimentation with foods and cooking. Not sure my points are clear here, either, but I can say with certainty that I too am immersed in the enjoyment of my pipes and various tobaccos, and have no intentions whatsoever to change!