"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