Here are four questions I have received recently.
Is it normal when starting to smoke pipe to constantly feel a burping sensation accompanied by a soreness in the chest? I’ve been a heavy cigarette smoker for 15 years and never had that.
As I always say, I don’t give medical advice, see a professional about that. Even when I just tell you about my personal experience, that should not be considered authoritative in any way.
First off, just because something is normal does not mean it should be welcome. Its normal to feel a burning sensation when you stick your hand in the fire–that doesn’t mean its okay to stick your hand in the fire.
In general, pipe smoking should not be painful or uncomfortable in any way. If it were, I wouldn’t do it. If it is, something is wrong. Let any kind of pain or discomfort be your cue to make changes. Pipe smoking should be enjoyable.
The burping sensation sounds vaguely like a possible reaction to nicotine, but that makes no sense if you have been desensitized to nicotine by cigarette smoking. My best guess about the soreness in your chest is you are inhaling the smoke. That may also explain the burping sensation. I do not know.
Pipe smoke need not be inhaled to enjoy it. I would even go as far as saying it is not intended to be inhaled. A few pipe smokers do inhale or partly inhale, but normally pipe smokers do not inhale, they puff. Save your lungs and enjoy your pipe – don’t inhale.
If I am looking for a pipe that will absorb moisture and help to burn cool do I want a pipe that has thick walls or thin walls?
I do not believe it matters that much. Briar does absorb moisture but not enough that the thickness of the walls will make a difference in how the pipe smokes.
The same is true for heat. Yes, briar does transfer heat but no matter how thick the walls are or how large or long the pipe is, you can still smoke the pipe too hot or wet.
Two things will impact the smoke a lot more in terms of moisture and heat: how you smoke the pipe and the pipe’s engineering.
When I say “engineering” I mean how the pipe is drilled and fitted. The diameter and shape of the chamber, the diameter of the airway and whether it is free from obstructions and interruptions go a long way towards how dry and cool the pipe smokes. There are too many variables to go into here but when the combination is right the pipe won’t smoke hot and won’t develop moisture in the stem like a pipe with internal flaws will.
Smoking cadence, how you fill the tobacco, and other factors surrounding the way you smoke also impact the quality of the smoke. Puff too fast and too hard and the pipe will burn hot even if its the size of a sledge hammer.
I suggest selecting a pipe by a maker you trust and then pick one that appeals to you for the way it looks.
Personally I like pipes with thicker walls but this preference has more to do with how it feels in my hand.
How do you feel about filtered pipes?
Many of the pipes I smoke regularly came fitted for filters but the first thing I did was take them out and discard them. I do not use filters in any of my pipes, I prefer the way the tobacco smoke and draw feels without them. I also insist on being able to run a pipe cleaner through the stem any time I like during the smoke.
How did I determine that I prefer not using a filter? I tried smoking with them and tried smoking without them. That is the best way to find out if you like them yourself.
A lot of pipe smokers swear by them–that’s why so many pipes are made to take them. Like so many other things with this hobby, it really comes down to personal preference.
I subscribed to the updates but I never receive any emails. Is something wrong?
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is I don’t spam your inbox with a lot of emails – you only receive a message from my site when I feel there’s something important or the site is updated.
The bad news is I don’t post that often these days. Hopefully that will change. I have some other projects which you will learn about here at some point that I spend time on. Hopefully the reviews and articles will begin arriving more frequently.
Great questions. I appreciate the opportunity to answer them. I also welcome other points of view. If you have another answer to any of the above questions please post it in the comments below.