When Did You Start?

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My first bowl was PA in a cob while fishing with my grandfather. I was 13, and there was no opprobrium whatsoever attached to his handing me a pipe.
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I started when I was 16/17. When I went to college, I adopted the current pattern of smoking whenever possible.

I bought a billiard basket pipe and then a few coupon pipes with the Amphora proof o' purchase things.
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2011. Lifelong cigarette smoker. Couldn't tolerate the negative impact on my respiratory health any longer. Vaping did the trick, but didn't scratch the tobacco itch. Ended up smoking pipes due to lifelong fond memories of the smell of old fashioned tobacconists when I was a kid. IME pipe smoking has a negligible impact on respiratory health and you don't screw up your house like cigarettes and cigars. Plus after abdicating for cigars for a few years and then returning to pipes, I find the pipe to be a more relaxing and meditative experience. Plus there's more variety. And then the pipe collecting scratches another itch.

One thing I'll say about the pipes vs cigar thing. Your palate is not always on. Body chemistry that day, what you had to eat and drink, these things affect your palate. It's why sometimes you just smoke a bowl and sometimes you have a revelatory experience, with the same pipe and same tobacco. When I smoke a bowl on a bad palate day it cost me pennies. When I smoke a cigar on a bad palate day I just spent $15 on a meh experience.
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Exemplo Ducemus
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I started around 2009. I didn't necessarily set out to do it, but just happened to find myself in tobacconist in our local mall called "The Briar Shoppe". I walked out with a basket pipe, a bag of 1Q, and a tin of EMP. It started out as a very occasional thing I'd do in the late evenings. For about 6 years I smoked nothing but EMP, but then I discovered the plethora of blends available online and went bananas trying anything and everything I could get my hands on. Funny that I was perfectly happy with EMP until I went on a tobacco spree.. now I can't handle Oriental at all.
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Ray Mackessy
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I started in 1967 while in the Air Force with a cob and some Middleton's Cherry Blend. I threw out the pipe and tobacco after one bowl. The tongue bite didn't subside for a couple of days. Came back to pipe smoking a year later, while in Vietnam, with a Dr. Grabow Viking (metal pipe) and some Prince Albert. This time around it took and the rest is history.
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Bro Uhaha
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My first smoke was one of my grandfather's hand rolled PA cigarettes at ~10-years-old. He had flicked it into the yard and I finished it for him on the side of the house. Didn't like it. Later picked up cigarette smoking from my older friends, but was never fully committed to it for long, because cigarettes are a MEAN addiction that involves a 30-minute cycle of use, leveling out, build of anxiety, and use again. Don't like being controlled in that way. Will use any and every other form of tobacco, but will never smoke one of those again. "I gare-on-tee"

Flirted with the pipe on and off in my twenties, but never took it up regularly because my first experiences sucked - thank you CB Cherry.

Really got into the pipe while working as a mailman on a walking route in South Austin. There was an older gentleman who smoked outside at the time of day I would usually come by. I liked the fragrance of his pipe smoke and we had a few conversations about it. Soon enough I was cruising my route on foot with a meerschaum jammed sideways in my mouth most of the day. Received many compliments and no complaints. Began collecting pipes, smoking pipes, and exploring numerous tobaccos in earnest at that time, but stopped due to a culmination of events in my personal life. Picked it back up about a year ago only to realize that some of the tobaccos I loved enough to stockpile were no longer around. Surprised by how much my tastes have changed since yesteryear, but excited by trying new things.

The great thing about pipe smoking is that it is a pleasure I can enjoy without the full cruelty of chemical addiction. I don't have to do it - I can choose to do it or not do it. ✔
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Kevin Keith
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I started smoking a pipe in 1979. My first pipe was a Dr Grabow Viking with a Dublin bowl bought off a Skyliner at Albertsons in Midland, Texas. My tobacco was SWR from that day until the mid-2000s.
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Chef Benny
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I totally agree with and relate to Sisyphus and Bro.. I smoked cigarettes off and on for 20 years (14 - 34). I have struggled with smoking my whole life. I gave up cigarettes at 34, and started messing around with pipes. I started with a cobb and a pouch of PA. I feel like pipes helped me quit cigarettes in a weird way. I enjoy meditating with a bowl on my front porch at the start of.. and end of the day. But I don't miss the nicotine itch every 30 minutes with cigs.. And I don't miss smelling like a damn ashtray. Pipe smoke smells a hell of a lot better.
I am 37 now, and have been enjoying pipes for a few years now. My grandpa smoked PA out of a grabbow daily.. with a King Edward as a treat on Sundays. My uncle smoked meerchaums.. He used to take me along with him to tinderbox in the mall to get this tobacco called Snowflake. I still remember the warm wonderful smell of that place.

I have really gotten into pipe smoking the last year and a half. I went TAD crazy at first. I have a hefty cellar that I haven't even fully explored yet. I feel kinda guilty about it. When I joined PSF a year ago I really started to learn from you guys and experiment and discover new blends.. New terms.. New techniques and I continue to learn something new every time I log on. This place is both informative and entertaining!

I am not buying any new baccy for a while. I only own 6 pipes...and I definately want more.. Hahaha.. I have tried quite a few tobaccos because I have a great smoke shop by my house that will sell me an ounce at a time. Maybe it's the chef in me.. But I don't really hate any blend. There are some that I am not crazy about.. Some I wouldn't buy again.. But I like to keep an open mind and continue to experiment.

I also can respect simplicity.. Routine.. And value.. Having codgers in my family taught me that. (That's why I feel guilty about my cellar) I don't want to be a damn hipster that buys a million tins of some trendy blend that I'll never smoke. I hope to some day get to the point where I smoke a few tried and true blends that I know and love. But right now I am still a rookie. Soaking up knowledge in this place like a 6mm filter. In the mean time I will continue to try everything I can get my hands on.. ask dumb questions ..make plenty of mistakes.. And have lots of fun doing it!

Thank you all!
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~The Pipe is my Meditation ... My Mental Medication. ~ Chef Benny
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Summer of 79 . Bought a blasted billiard I still have and a pouch of Argosy . It was an awesome day
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Mid 2000's. Went into the local B&M for cigars, they were out of the those that I wanted. I walked out with a basket pipe and a tin of 965. I quickly found that I enjoyed the pipe. You don't need to spend a fortune to get a good smoke.
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