Posts tagged ‘international pipe smoking day’

Smoke gets in your soul, pipe lovers say

Cap Cod Times

By Doug Fraser
February 21, 2010

MASHPEE — Yesterday was International Pipe-Smoking Day.

How did you let that one slip by?

Portrait of Louis Kircher smoking his Jobey quater-bed bulldog pipe at the Tinder Box. Cape Cod Times/Paul Blackmore

Probably because pipes, once the international symbol of sophisticated masculinity, slipped off the popular radar screen decades ago.

Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire, and a ’60s male icon, might still wear a smoking jacket over those black silk pajamas, but he quit smoking back in 1985 after a stroke. And nobody really missed it.

Thanks to the anti-tobacco campaign, based on concerns over public health, and waged on the federal, state and local levels, tobacco use of all kinds has dropped steadily since 2002 from 30.4 percent of the people over 12 years of age in 2002 to 28.4 percent in 2008.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s national survey on drug use, 14 percent of the population over 12 years of age in 1965 smoked a pipe. That declined to 2 percent by 1991, and is less than 1 percent today. The trend has been basically flat since 2002.

MASHPEE — 02/17/10 — A variety of pipes made by Savinelli ranging in price from $100 – $500 at the Tinder Box. Cape Cod Times/Paul Blackmore

With smokers exiled from virtually all public places in Massachusetts and non-smoking clauses in many house leases, it’s become harder for guys like Louie Kircher to enjoy a pipe of Sherlock’s Choice, his favorite tobacco blend.

A pipe smoker since he was 17, the 46-year-old Pocasset resident likes the aroma, taste and ritual of cleaning, preparing and lighting his pipe. Cigarettes are like fast food, and cigars are brash, beefy, and extroverted, but pipe smoking, lends itself to a sit, and to contemplation as the smoke wreaths your head and drifts off toward the ceiling.

“It’s relaxing. You just put yourself in neutral and coast,” Kircher said.

In Native American cultures the pipe was part of a ceremony that connected earth and sky, and the pipes themselves and their accessories were often lovingly carved, highly decorated, works of art. So too with modern pipes. Sure, you could buy a $5 corn cob or a simple $25 basket pipe. But why not splurge on a $500 Italian hand-carved briar pipe or spend $200 on a limestone Indian-head pipe from Turkey?

Kircher loves his Ben Franklin, a long-stemmed pipe that burns cool, but he still has the well-worn pipe he first smoked nearly 30 years ago.

The smoking climate has changed in all that time, and Kircher can’t even smoke in his own home because his landlord won’t allow it.

“I don’t mind,” he said. “I go out to the car, turn on the radio and smoke.”

He also visits the smoking room at The Tinderbox at Mashpee Commons, where patrons sit on couches, talk and smoke while watching a flat-panel TV. The thick scent of cigars permeate the room, obliterating all other smells.

MASHPEE — 02/17/10 — Corn cob pipes like these are great for beginners as they cost less than $2.00 at the Tinder Box. Cape Cod Times/Paul Blackmore

Owner Jim Sullivan believes pipe smoking is on the rise. He’s sold dozens of pipes since Christmas. He and Kircher believe people are choosing pipes as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, and because people are beginning to appreciate tobaccos the way they do a fine wine.

“This is the worst economy in 50 years and my business was up 25 percent last year, and it will be up again this year,” Sullivan said.

Still, all is not well in the land of Meerschaum. A new bill going through Congress would add $24 in taxes onto the $42 per pound price of pipe tobacco. Similar in intent to the health tax imposed on cigarettes, this tax was already levied on tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes. When those companies got around the tax by rebranding their product as pipe tobacco, federal legislators sought to close that loophole.

Dr. Ann Malarcher, senior scientific advisor to the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, agreed that the risk of death from lung cancer was lower for pipe smokers, at five to six times that of a non-smoker. Cigarette smokers run 20 to 30 times the risk of a non-smoker. But, tobacco use in any form could result in a variety of cancers, heart disease, lung diseases and stroke.

“I would say that pipe smoking is dangerous,” Malarcher said. “When you look at pipe smokers, they are usually also using another tobacco product. The majority are also using cigarettes.”

The majority are also using cigarettes? What the… What pipe smokers does he know?

Happy International Pipe-Smoking Day!

It’s IPSD! I asked for it off from work as a religious holiday, but they wouldn’t let me celebrate it, so I’m filing an EEO.

Anyway, in the meantime, I just wanted to fabricate some nonsense about IPSD.

IPSD was established when Stonehenge was finished, and all the Druids went to the local pub, got sloshed, and decided to make it a holiday. In an effort to include this pagan holiday, Caesar commissioned Leonardo Da Vinci to do a painting of the establishment of this memorable event. Unfortunately, Leo had also been hanging out at the local pub, got sloshed, and painted “The Last Supper” instead. Caesar had him drawn and quartered. He figured Santa had a pipe, that would have to do.

During Pipe Prohibition, people would go into bootleg pipe saloons and smoke homemade tobacco out of bathtubs filled with gin. This led to the Great Chicago Fire, when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow ignored the “Do not dump hot ashes” sign. While sloshed.

Today, we celebrate by battling a 775% tax increase on tobacco. In a scene reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party, we plan a secret (well, not so secret now) mission to throw our legislators into Puget Sound. Any anti-pipe-smoking activist is being labeled a “terrorist.”

So now, I leave you with the actual words from Oscar Wilde, ““Keep pipe-smoking in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of pipe-smoking and being smokey brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” (Not many people know it, but Oscar Wilde wrote “Alice in Meerschaum-land,” much to the indignity of Lewis Carrol, who promptly sued him for plagarism…a tradition that this blog celebrates to this day.)


Pipe-smoking dog

IPCPR Tobacconists, Pipe Smokers Celebrate Int’l Pipe Smoking Day

TransWorld News

Brothers and Sisters of the Briar Gather Sat., Feb. 20

St. Louis, Missouri 2/15/2010 10:58 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

St. Louis, Missouri. February 15, 2010 – St. Louis, Missouri will be a center of the pipe smoking world at noon this Saturday, February 20.

That’s when International Pipe Smoking Day will be celebrated at the 22nd Annual Gateway Area Pipe Show at the Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center.  Local briar lovers will be raising their pipes in a salute to their pipe smoking brothers and sisters around the world as a show of friendship and unity that reaches across all borders, according to the Bob Callaway, spokesperson for the St. Louis Pipe Club, sponsor of the show.

International Pipe Smoking Day was designated by a group on Smokers Forums three years ago as a day on which pipe smokers everywhere could tell their story and educate others about the rich history and traditions of the noble art of pipe smoking. The group dedicated it to the worldwide community of pipe smokers that is bound together by a shared love of pipes, pipe collecting and the social aspect of pipe smoking. They respect informed choice and the responsible adult use of smoking tobacco and envision a world where governments act in good faith and integrity.

“International Pipe Smoking Day provides an opportunity for briar lovers everywhere to stand up and demonstrate with pride that we are still enjoying our pipes despite all the restrictions and increased tobacco taxes that the anti-tobacco forces have imposed on us. They just don’t understand the significant benefits that pipe smoking offers,” Callaway said.

International Pipe Smoking Day is supported by the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association of some 2,000 retailers of premium tobacco products; the International Committee of Pipe Clubs, which has members in more than 25 countries; and by the United Pipe Clubs of America, with its more than 20 member clubs in the United States.  Many other pipe clubs in this country and abroad also will hold special events on or around February 20 to mark the day.

“Our motto is ‘Relax with Your Pipe’ and that’s the idea we want to get across,” says Vernon Vig, President of UPCA which, according to the organization’s website was founded in 2002 to promote and protect the interests of the American pipe smoking community.

“Pipe smokers are mature, considerate adults. We don’t want to bother anyone, and all we ask in return is a little common sense and consideration on the part of others,” said Vig.

International Pipe-Smoking Day


For more information, go to;, and

Contact:            Bob Callaway, 636-946-8555

Vernon Vig. 646-823-4543

Tony Tortorici, 678/493-0313

International Pipe Smokers day celebrated Feb. 20 in Hanover

February 14, 2010

HANOVER — The New Jersey Fellowship of Pipe Smokers is holding a special meeting on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. to celebrate the International Pipe Smokers Day at JR Cigars on Route 10.

Members of the NJFPS have been invited to show off their pipe and pipe accessory collections while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow collectors calling to mind a simpler America.

Meetings are the second Thursday of the month with the exception of February. The February meetings are always held on the 20th of the month regardless of the day so to celebrate International Pipe Smoking Day .

International Pipe-Smoking Day

International Pipe Smoking Day!

Today is International Pipe Smoking Day!


Here’s how one club is celebrating…

Club ready to light up for pipe-smoking day


Published: Friday, February 20, 2009 4:06 AM EST

Mike “Doc” Garr has a talent that few in Northeastern Pennsylvania can equal.

With two matches, 5 grams of tobacco and a pipe, the Wilkes University sociology professor can light a pipe in about two minutes and smoke it for more than an hour and a half.

Though an hour and half might not sound long, Garr cannot relight the pipe and usually eggs it on with a drawl every few minutes. Many of the competitors’ pipes extinguish after five minutes. His interesting talents even earned him a trophy as the Northeast Regional slow pipe-smoking champion of 2008.

A pipe-smoking enthusiast for about 10 years, Garr is president of the Pocono Intermountain Pipe Smoking Enclave (or PIPE), a local club of pipe smokers started in 2002 that meets every Tuesday at El Humidor in Wilkes-Barre. The club is a charter member of the United Pipe Clubs of America, a national organization that promotes the old-fashioned hobby.

Today gives Garr and his fellow pipe smokers an extra reason to light up and tell others about their hobby. It is International Pipe Smoking Day, a day started by pipe-smoking clubs to recognize and promote pipe smoking.

Garr only recently learned about International Pipe Smoking Day, and hopes to have activities centered around pipe smoking next year — maybe a smoking competition in Wilkes-Barre.

Smoking a pipe requires Garr to take a rest during his day, break down the tobacco, fill the pipe and then spend time to smoke it. These steps make it a lot more involved than popping a cigarette or cigar in his mouth.

“It is really the ritual that makes pipe smoking, pipe smoking,” said Garr, 57, of Wilkes-Barre. “It is a lot more elaborate. Because of these rituals, it leads to more relaxation.”

Other club members are looking forward to marking the International Pipe Smoking Day the only way that fits. Adam Zwolinski, a club member and manager of El Humidor, is pretty sure he’ll celebrate by smoking a pipe the entire day.

Zwolinski, 22, of Nanticoke, joined PIPE about four years ago. Since, he’s collected nearly 100 pipes in all different sizes, shapes and finishes. Garr has around 80 pipes, including relics used during the World War II-era. Pipe smokers rotate which pipe they use every day, because too much moisture can cause a pipe to crack.

Zwolinski and Garr say through the club they’ve made valuable friendships that they wouldn’t have made elsewhere. The club’s 15 members come from all sectors of the community. It boasts occupations ranging from college professor to beef jerky salesman to a retired teacher to local university students. Whenever the group meets, the guys — yes, the club is all men, but women are welcome — sit and smoke pipes for about two hours, the usual amount of time a pipe filled with tobacco lasts.

Some in the group plan to attend the Chicagoland Pipe Show, the biggest gathering of pipe smokers and tobacco enthusiasts in the United States. The event, held outside Chicago, will be the first weekend of May.

Others, like Zwolinski, don’t take the habit seriously enough to travel, but still find it a valuable part of their lives.

“When I go back in our lounge to smoke a pipe, everything is left at the door,” Zwolinski said., 570-821-2083