Pipe Smoking a Hobby?

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But the smoking part -- I just have trouble thinking of that as a hobby
Interesting remarks. I agree with all your points except the last one. For me, pipe smoking is very definitely a hobby.

My wife's not too keen on philosophy, but she really cracked the code on this one. She observed that a hobby is any deliberate, focused activity performed on a regular basis where the emphasis is on personal achievement and satisfaction rather than on making money or furthering one's professional status.

So, for me, eating dinner isn't a hobby. But it is for a particular couple we know who seem to create a new work of art every evening. And, man, are they into it! If you ever have 3 or 4 hours to kill, I'll give you their phone number.

For most of my pipe smoking friends, pipe smoking isn't a hobby. They just choose a pipe, stuff it with their favorite weed, and suck on it for an hour. For me, though, I plan on which tobacco I'm going to smoke, and then select just the right pipe. Then I often lamp dry the tobacco, load it optimally, light it carefully, and then settle into an hour of meditative breath smoking. I pay conscious attention to dozens of factors to get the best possible smoke.

Frankly, though they might not want to admit it, almost everyone who posts on PSF practices pipe smoking as a hobby. They may choose to dis it by calling it an obsession. But by that reckoning, work is also an obsession. And at least we get pleasure and satisfaction from pipe smoking.
My only hobby is avoiding run-ins with the law, ain't good at it but age keeps making me better
That sounds like a good plan. And we can look forward to the fact that age makes us better at pipe smoking too.

Pipe smoking is just pipe smoking
That sounds reasonable enough. Something just is what it is.

All of us also take the time to hop on this forum to see what other people have to say about this hobby ... er, I mean ... activity of ours. Presumably because we want to increase our enjoyment of this hobby ... er, I mean ... activity of pipe smoking. One wonders whether stamp collectors spend this much time on their hobby.
Pipe smoking is just a relaxing pastime for me.

OTOH, given the amount of time I spend searching OneCraigs & Fleabay for estates.. and given the time I spend polishing, cleaning, restoring, etc... I can understand why "the boss" rolls her eyes at yet another of my "hobbies"..

Guess it's all in you point of view?
I'm on the fence. I think collecting pipes and trading and sampling tobacco as the hobby bit. Also hanging out here on the forum falls into the hobby/enthusiast side for me.

Actually smoking the pipe just to smoke? Still haven't figured that out. When I smoked cigs, it was an addiction, never a hobby. At my best I'd smoke half a pack a day, at my worst, 3 packs. I'm still addicted to nicotine, but I get that from Copenhagen now and not as often.

Pipe smoking is more of a meditation process. I don't really like to think about it too much. If I have to spend more time fussing over the pipe and worrying about technique, it's not enjoyable, and whatever blend that is doesn't last too long in the rotation. Probably why I always keep CH on hand!
This was discussed at some length last year:


I'll reiterate my two cents:

Pipe collecting may or may not be a hobby. Pipe restoration almost certainly is. Pipe making definitely is, and at its best, is art as well.

As for smoking? I'm not sure. For smokers like my dad, who was strictly a SWR in a Grabow guy, certainly not. But I have friends who are really into wine and craft beers. They don't make their own, they're just consumers. But they've acquired a significant amount of knowledge and put a lot of time and expense into it - visiting breweries and wineries, attending festivals, etc. Many subscribe to magazines devoted to it.

I tend to think of a hobby as something beyond consumption - whether of food, alcohol or even media - and as involving the cultivation of a skill. But when I spend time with friends who can sip a new beer and tell me in detail what's in it, roughly in what proportion, and how it was prepared, I have a hard time denying that it is.

If it is for them, then there's no reason it can't be for a pipe tobacco enthusiast either.


Active Member
Always enjoy this subject when I see it come up.
Point of view dependent? Yep, I s'pose it is.
At one time I strongly rejected the pipe as a hobby for me. Putting flame to a bowl is life man!

As the herd has grown, the cellar has widened and I've acquired knives and antique plug cutters and buffing wheels and..., well, there is certainly a hobby aspect to my pipes. But...

The smoking part remains an expression of life for me!


Well-Known Member
At the core of it, I'm a smoker and my preferred form of tobacco use is a pipe and pipe tobacco. And it would end there if my tobacco use involved no more than two pipes and a pouch of SWR. However, it's also a hobby in that I collect pipes - and any more it's not just pipes in general, it's themed pipes in the form of Pete St. Paddy Day pipes. I'm also a tobacco enthusiast/connoisseur in that I cellar the stuff, and my cellar is broken down into several genres. Sure, I started out with the idea of building a stockpile of SWR for a rainy day, but it's now taken on a life of it's own and I have began to look at what I cellar with an eye for aging. It's also a lifestyle in that pipe smoking has it's own culture and language, and it's a social outlet in that I sit and chat with fellow pipe smokers. And when it's boiled down to bare essences, it's what any of us choose to make it.


Active Member
I collect, restore, and modify pipes. So certainly a hobby for me. I spend more hours out in the garage at my work bench working on pipes than I probably should, but I find it relaxing, entertaining, and I love the reaction from folks that I do pipes for. It makes me feel good to do something for someone with no expectation of any type of payment. I do it because I love to do it. So yep, a hobby for me. In fact I love it when someone wants me to work on a pipe for them, as I can only work on my own so many times. And every time I get my hands on a different pipe it is a learning experience for me. Sounds like a hobby.

Now when I smoked cigarettes I could collect cigarettes all I wanted, try to clean them or modify them and they would just end up destroyed, and the only people I ever gave cigarettes to were bums. So no, not a hobby, but a necessity.
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