First...damp clean the bowl with a paper towel before your first smoke...dampened pipe cleaner down the stem/shank. This removes any dust residue. Smoke it slow and cool for the first 1/2 dozen bowls. Handle the meerschaum as little as possible for the first few pipes...this lets the wax "set in" to the stone. After that, you can pretty much smoke it like any briar pipe....just make sure your hands are clean...dirt etc. adheres to warm wax. Sounds like a bit of a hassle, but it's really just common sense.....you'd treat a high end briar pretty much the same way...at least I do.