If you Google “Pipe Smoker,” you’ll get pages and pages of images of old white men — Einstein, Mark Twain, 1940’s actors, guys with big beards, etc… From this you’d think you need to be an author, scientist, fishing boat captain or civil war general to smoke a pipe. The initial search results on Google can be as deceiving as the prevalent stereotype. Pipe smoking in today’s world is much more diverse than you would be lead to believe.
Look a little deeper, past the readily easy to find photos of bearded male hipsters thoughtfully gazing into the camera as the smoke swirls around their well groomed heads and you will find a world of pipe smokers of just regular everyday people enjoying a wonderful tobacco pipe.
THE AVERAGE JOE AND JOSEPHINE
Contrary to the historic photographic evidence, pipe smoking has never been solely the bastion of the aging white male. While some cultures have extreme variations of pipe smoking, what we consider pipe smoking — a typical briar / meerschaum pipe with tobacco — is enjoyed by both sexes across all socioeconomic groups and walks of life.
Men and, yes, women are enjoying pipe smoking as a way of relaxing, escaping the rigors of the day or socializing with others.
Many cite the memories of their Grandfather’s pipe and the aroma that embedded in his favorite chair as the initial reason to try pipe smoking. Others are attracted to the calm ritual of packing a stylish briar with a tobacco that smells like cookies cooking as they smoke. Of course, there are those that take up pipe smoking because they think it makes them look smart or refined or cool, but they usually drop the pretence quickly and keep smoking for the simple enjoyment of the experience.
Today’s pipe smokers are much like today’s premium cigar smokers. They don’t smoke a pipe because they are addicted to the nicotine from the tobacco. They don’t smoke because they “have to,” so much as they smoke because they “want to.” They smoke because they love the experience and everything that goes with it. Whether sitting in solitude and pondering their day or arguing about their take on the newest episode of Game Of Thrones with a group of friends, pipe smokers are drawn to a hobby with a long and rich history that millions of others have enjoyed as well.