"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brotherhood of the Briar

"A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan."
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

For those of you who have long admired the art of the pipe, but didn't know where to start when it comes to partaking of the joys of the leaf and briar, The Art of Manliness website features a Pipe Smoking Primer, written by Jason Mills.

The 1979 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health (Table 7, Section 13, page 17, or page 637 in pdf form) shows that, in one study (H. A. Kahn), pipe smokers of 1-4 bowls a day actually have a lower mortality rate than non-smokers. Table 8 of a second study (E.C. Hammond), shows pipe smokers who smoke more than 9 bowls a day, again, had a lower mortality rate than non-smokers.

That's because a pipe keeps us calm and free from hysterics.

"The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected..."
-William Makepeace Thackeray, from The Social Pipe


  1. Bro. Hodapp - I am a long time reader of your blog, but I've never really commented. As a pipe smoker myself I was very glad to see this article. It's unfortunate that enjoying a pipe gets lumped into the same catagory as smoking a cigarette. The restrictions and bans on pipe smokers because of cigarettes is quite unfair. Way to take a stand brother!

  2. Mark T. told me yesterday about a cigar bar in Alexandria. Maybe we can slip away from the hotel in February to check it out.

    - Jay

  3. Noble Friend,

    Speaking as one who has taught a great deal of statistics and research design, I'd like to comment on the finding you mentioned concerning the 1979 Surgeon General's study.

    One of the unavoidable aspects of a pipe-smoking sub-population is that this group is almost certainly better educated, and possesses a higher median income, than either cigarette smokers or the public at large. In turn, that means that, as a group, pipe smokers will have better nutrition, overall better health practices, and access to better health care. That alone means that pipe smokers will show more favorable mortality statistics than the general population of non-smokers.

    Thus, the implication that pipe smoking leads to better longevity is not really appropriate. (I know you are just kidding. It's just that some people will believe you on the literal level.)

    The appropriate study would be a comparison between pipe-smokers and non-smokers where the samples are matched on education, income, access to health care, and other lifestyle issues (dental care, etc. etc.). Regrettably, I am aware of no such study. (I am, however, available to head such a study if anyone would like to fund it.)

    Peace and fraternal salutation to all.

  4. I just thought putting a pipe in our mouth makes us all channel know-it-all brainbox Whit Bissell. Who lived to be 86, by the way, and was rarely in a movie (usually as a doctor or a general) without his pipe.

    BTW, my dad smoked a pipe until four years ago and is approaching 92.

  5. My mother-in law bout me a pipe years ago, think its time to try it again, and after reading the assoc. article I finally realized I was packing it all wrong, and lighting it wrong, and trying to inhale it....guess I'll have to get some new leaf and giver another go! I do have the scotch, and the martinis thing down pretty well!

  6. Inhaling a pipe? Why, that's crazy! What ever made you think that...

    [remembers college days]

    Oh. Never mind.

  7. I had a pipe passed down from my father who died in 1976. I enjoyed it immensely (much better than cigarettes) but I lost the pipe. I will have to try it again, possibly taking the pipe outside to smoke if my wife does not like it. Oh, I also associate pipes with elegance and wisdom. My dad and Gandalf the Wizard from THE LORD OF THE RINGS had much to do with that.

  8. And much as I love my battered Petersen briar, I can't smoke them anymore or I end up with raging bronchitis.

    Can hardly sit in a bar anymore for the same reason.


  9. Not sure if this is advertising, but I recently bought my Masonic pipe from this website. It took about 3 weeks to receive it, but it is a beautiful pipe. I'm enjoying it now that the weather is getting cooler.


  10. Mine has the words CROYDEN bent on the side, i figured net is the style. Anyone know anything about Croydon pipes? Picked up some Vanilla Maple, a tamper, cleaners and some wooden matches. Have a healthy Auchentoshan 10 year Triple Distilled! What a way to spend my final evening before my EA!

    ps the code woed to enter thist blog is 'trust', how cool is that?


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