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View Full Version : Why isn't pipe tobacco used for cigarettes?


Pullet
12-20-2007, 03:25 PM
Pipe tobacco smells so much better than cigarette tobacco. Is pipe tobacco not used more often because of cost? Is there some fundamental difference in how the two methods are done that makes pipe tobacco less preferred in a cigarette?

Santo Rugger
12-20-2007, 03:33 PM
WAGs:

1. Pipe tobacco is much more coarse than cigarette tobacco.

2. Pipe tobacco is much more moist than cigarette tobacco.

3. Pipe tobacco is not packed as tightly as cigarette tobacco.

4. Pipes can get hotter because the tobacco is better insulated, and because the heat originates further from your mouth.

These all relate to burning rate, and have been fine tuned over years of smoking to extract the most amount of nicotine from each respective method, and, almost as importantly, keeping the cherry lit.

Pullet
12-20-2007, 03:37 PM
So is it impossible to chop and pack pipe tobacco so that it can go into a cigarette without losing the nice smell?

Phlosphr
12-20-2007, 03:42 PM
Heh, heh, heh....Sounds like someone needs to try it! :D

For those of us who have, it's different for sure. Basically, the fact that it is very moist means you can roll very nice cigs, but when you try and smoke it the cherry tends to light on fire and then burn very slowly once it's going. And when you inhale it's like inhaling a freight train - it's really not recommended. :D

Argent Towers
12-20-2007, 04:00 PM
I'll roll a cigarette with pipe tobacco now and then. It usually works out fine, but sometimes it doesn't stay lit so well.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
12-20-2007, 04:01 PM
I believe that there are pipe tobacco cigars & cigarillos.

Phlosphr
12-20-2007, 04:04 PM
I believe that there are pipe tobacco cigars & cigarillos.
There are, and it's tobacco heavily soaked in molassas ala regular pipe tobacco. However to me, I prefer a fine receptical just as much as a fine tobacco they are mutually inclcusive to me. NO way would I roll pipe tobacco again...Blagh...

Boozahol Squid, P.I.
12-20-2007, 04:05 PM
So is it impossible to chop and pack pipe tobacco so that it can go into a cigarette without losing the nice smell?


IANAT(obaccanist), but I am both a pipe and cigarette smoker, so I can answer this question briefly, probably with several msitakes.

Tobacco isn't a single plant, and not all tobaccos are treated the same way. The main tobaccos used today are latakia, burley, Virginia, and Oriental.

The problem with using pipe tobacco for cigarettes, even if it's dried and chopped finely, is that cigarette tobacco is usually Virginia and Oriental, because of their properties mentioned above: they burn smoothly, evenly and much cooler than the other two types above.

If you enjoy the 'old man' scent of tobacco, that's produced by latakia, which has so much moisture and burns so hotly, that no amount of treatment is going to enable it suitable for cigarette smoking. Furthermore, it burns so much hotter than Virginian or Oriental tobaccos that inhaling it is pretty much out because it dries out the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat so quickly.

Burley, and its various cousins (Perique, Kentucky, Cavendish), is the tobacco most often used in flavored blends, and is probably a safer choice to try to inhale. A cigarette smoker would still not likely enjoy it, as it has a much fuller flavor than Virginia tobacco, which probably means a much higher particulate ratio.... this would make it nastier to suck down the pipes.

Dunhill's London mixture is a pure Oriental/Virginia blend that you can find that, if dried further and chopped might make a better substitute. But you best bet, I imagine, is to go to an independent tobaconnist that mixes its own tobacco and see if they can add small amounts of a flavored burley to a regular cigarette tobacco. That might do it, or they can explain to you why you'd be burning a hole through the back of your throat after a couple of puffs.

vetbridge
12-20-2007, 04:08 PM
There are always Clove cigs. I love the way they smell.

King Friday
12-20-2007, 04:11 PM
There are always Clove cigs. I love the way they smell.

I'm down with the cloves, but they're illegal in my home state...Maryland. :smack:

Cluricaun
12-20-2007, 04:13 PM
There are always Clove cigs. I love the way they smell.

Like goth kids?

Pullet
12-20-2007, 04:13 PM
Thanks for the input. I myself don't smoke. But after years of dealing with my parent's cigarettes, I really came to appreciate the smell of pipe tobacco at a friend's house.

So what about the pipe prevents the hotter burning, more particulate pipe tobacco from drying out the mouth's mucous membranes? It seems like the added filtration through unlit tobacco would help reduce the hurt of a cigarette more than the straight shot of a pipe's stem.

And how, exactly, does one smoke anything without getting it into their lungs? Considering I live in Northern California, it's kinda pathetic that I don't know how one does not inhale. But still, can someone describe it?

Pullet
12-20-2007, 04:15 PM
I'm down with the cloves, but they're illegal in my home state...Maryland. :smack:

Clove cigarettes are better, but for some reason are viewed as childish. Any input on this? And they're not nearly as good as pipe tobacco.

Why on earth are they illegal in Maryland?

Phlosphr
12-20-2007, 04:21 PM
<snip> And how, exactly, does one smoke anything without getting it into their lungs? Considering I live in Northern California, it's kinda pathetic that I don't know how one does not inhale. But still, can someone describe it?
It's the same with smoking a cigar, you don't suck on it like a cigarette and take a full inhale. You taste it and just smoke it with minor inhales I guess you could say.

gazpacho
12-20-2007, 04:24 PM
Why on earth are they illegal in Maryland?To protect the children. Really that is the reason. A lot of people would outlaw cigarettes completely but they cannot because there are too many adults who would be upset about if that was done. Cloves on the other hand are mainly smoked by a small younger crowd so the outrage, when they were outlawed, was small enough to contain. It looks like only New Mexico, Maryland and Utah outlawed their sale. I thought it was a lot higher but I was wrong.

Boozahol Squid, P.I.
12-20-2007, 04:28 PM
Clove cigarettes are better, but for some reason are viewed as childish. Any input on this? And they're not nearly as good as pipe tobacco.

Why on earth are they illegal in Maryland?

Sometime back in the mid-80's, there were some deaths related(?) to clove cigarettes. The story went (when I was living in Annapolis and hanging about tobaconists frequented by legislators) that supposedly some Maryland state official's daughter smoked clove cigarettes, got in a car crash, and died from the ensuing blow to her chest. Apparently smoking cloves had 'crystalized' her lungs. I know... it sounds Urban Legendish to me, too. But I did get it from a member of the body that illegalized it. They're also illegal in New Mexico, with similar stories behind it there.

Clove cigarettes do have a much higher content of nicotine than other cigarettes... although no clove smoker I know smokes nearly as many of them as normal cigarette smokers.

So what about the pipe prevents the hotter burning, more particulate pipe tobacco from drying out the mouth's mucous membranes? It seems like the added filtration through unlit tobacco would help reduce the hurt of a cigarette more than the straight shot of a pipe's stem.

First off, while there is no filter, there's a long stem to pipes that allows the tobacco to cool off. More importantly, I imagine, it's not in the device you smoke the tobacco, it's the method: pipes aren't inhaled, and drying out the mouth doesn't hurt the way drying out the throat does.

King Friday
12-20-2007, 04:31 PM
Clove cigarettes are better, but for some reason are viewed as childish. Any input on this? And they're not nearly as good as pipe tobacco.

Why on earth are they illegal in Maryland?

From what I could find out about this travesty, those in favor of the ban in Maryland said that "too many teenagers" were smoking them and it has "become a gateway to tobacco abuse." I'll admit, I can't stand a basic Camel or Virginia Slim but I do occasionally puff on a cigar. I "discovered" cloves in Miami a few years ago and enjoy them the same way I do cigars...I don't inhale. A pack lasts me probably 2 months which is a good thing since I have to order them on line. The cloves are shipped from Indonesia and they make it clear that if US Customs confiscates the package, they're not responsible.

NAF1138
12-20-2007, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the input. I myself don't smoke. But after years of dealing with my parent's cigarettes, I really came to appreciate the smell of pipe tobacco at a friend's house.

So what about the pipe prevents the hotter burning, more particulate pipe tobacco from drying out the mouth's mucous membranes? It seems like the added filtration through unlit tobacco would help reduce the hurt of a cigarette more than the straight shot of a pipe's stem.

The shape of the pipe, and how you smoke it make the difference. And in reality the smoke has to travel a lot further with a pipe then with a cigarette. I have never smoked a cigarette that was as cool as a well lit and maintained pipe, but I have never smoked one as hot as a badly lit and maintainted pipe.

It really is a different experience. I am not sure how to describe it beyond that other then to say that smoking a pipe feels completely different then smoking a cigarette.

And how, exactly, does one smoke anything without getting it into their lungs? Considering I live in Northern California, it's kinda pathetic that I don't know how one does not inhale. But still, can someone describe it?

Imagine sipping a drink through a straw. Same principle.

Santo Rugger
12-20-2007, 04:38 PM
Sometime back in the mid-80's, there were some deaths related(?) to clove cigarettes. The story went (when I was living in Annapolis and hanging about tobaconists frequented by legislators) that supposedly some Maryland state official's daughter smoked clove cigarettes, got in a car crash, and died from the ensuing blow to her chest. Apparently smoking cloves had 'crystalized' her lungs. I know... it sounds Urban Legendish to me, too. But I did get it from a member of the body that illegalized it. They're also illegal in New Mexico, with similar stories behind it there.<snip>

Yep, that's pretty much the story around here, except it was supposedly our governor's daughter at the time.

Fortunately, I can buy Djarums on the "rez", and there's at least one on every major route I travel.

Pullet
12-20-2007, 04:38 PM
Ok, I think I'm getting the picture now.

How does the reputation of clove cigarettes fair among cigarette smokers? Is it something only the immature or novice smoker would do?

What we need to do is bring back cigarette holders. That way, the hotter burning pipe tobacco can be used.

King Friday
12-20-2007, 04:42 PM
Maybe I missed something here, but aren't Black and Milds made from pipe tobacco? They certainly smell like it.

vetbridge
12-20-2007, 04:53 PM
How does the reputation of clove cigarettes fair among cigarette smokers? Is it something only the immature or novice smoker would do?
IANATU (tobacco user), but I can tell you that in my circle of friends, clove smokers are laughed at. Maybe it is all their mascara, I dunno. But I love the smell.

pulykamell
12-20-2007, 04:56 PM
How does the reputation of clove cigarettes fair among cigarette smokers? Is it something only the immature or novice smoker would do?


Cloves and cigarettes are kinda two different things for me. When I was a full-on pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker, cloves would knock me on my ass. It's the only cigarette I smoked that I felt lightheaded and nauseous after smoking. I nearly vomited.

Needless to say, that experience has totally put me off cloves. Hate the cigarettes, hate the smell. I think they're much harsher than regular cigarettes, but YMMV.

NAF1138
12-20-2007, 05:17 PM
Cloves and cigarettes are kinda two different things for me. When I was a full-on pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker, cloves would knock me on my ass. It's the only cigarette I smoked that I felt lightheaded and nauseous after smoking. I nearly vomited.

Needless to say, that experience has totally put me off cloves. Hate the cigarettes, hate the smell. I think they're much harsher than regular cigarettes, but YMMV.


You know, I started with Pipes and Clove Cigarettes, and now that I smoke "real" cigarettes I have the exact same reaction to cloves. Just one and I am light headed and nauseous. And they tastes SO sweet.

I used to love em though. Bali's or Djarum Blacks were great. I still occasionally think I like them and will by a pack, but without fail they make me sick and hurt my throat.

DrDeth
12-20-2007, 08:00 PM
There are always Clove cigs. I love the way they smell.

I despise that smell, far worse that ordinary cigs. Note that I have heard that one clove is about as bad for you as an entire pack of regular.

Argent Towers
12-20-2007, 08:54 PM
Maybe I missed something here, but aren't Black and Milds made from pipe tobacco? They certainly smell like it.

They're made from really shitty pipe tobacco, as are Captain Black cigarettes and all the other pre-packaged junk.

tonedef
12-20-2007, 10:28 PM
There are always Clove cigs. I love the way they smell.

What are close cigs? Are they flavored or something?


Also with flavored cigs & cigars how do they add the flavor? Someone told me with the ciggies its the filter and with the cigars its in teh leafs its rolled with. Any truth to this?

Argent Towers
12-20-2007, 10:34 PM
What are close cigs? Are they flavored or something?

Clove Cigarettes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clove_cigarette) are made of tobacco mixed with ground-up cloves (a fragrant herb.) They are traditionally smoked in Indonesia, but are also enjoyed all over the globe. They have a very distinct smell, somewhat sweet and "spicy," and the cigarettes are usually rolled in colored paper. The most popular kind is Djarum, which is black. I have heard that cloves are worse for your health than regular cigarettes.

I used to smoke them when I was a teenager. They were "cool" when you're a kid, then after that it's generally considered kind of immature to smoke them.

Boozahol Squid, P.I.
12-22-2007, 07:31 PM
Also with flavored cigs & cigars how do they add the flavor? Someone told me with the ciggies its the filter and with the cigars its in teh leafs its rolled with. Any truth to this?

Flavored cigarettes like the Camel Flavored cigarettes that were hot about three or four years ago and Nat Sherman's mint cigarettes are flavored via the filter. As mentioned above, clove cigarettes have cloves and other spices ground up with the tobacco. Flavored cigars and pipe tobacco have flavorings added directly to the leaf.

Darth Nader
12-22-2007, 09:59 PM
From the wiki article: "It cured his chest pains and he started to market his invention to the village, but he died before he could mass market it."

YEAH! Gimme some of that.

Lazlo
12-23-2007, 02:32 AM
Fortunately, I can buy Djarums on the "rez", and there's at least one on every major route I travel.

You can??

Damn. I've made special trips to El Paso or Flagstaff just to pick up some cloves.

I'll have to check out Sandia on the way out of town tomorrow.

Spoons
12-23-2007, 09:12 AM
Also with flavored cigs & cigars how do they add the flavor? Someone told me with the ciggies its the filter and with the cigars its in teh leafs its rolled with. Any truth to this?Tobacco loves to pick up ambient odors. Generally, to make flavored tobacco (menthol, vanilla, etc.), all you need to do is to put tobacco is the same enclosed area as some kind of flavoring agent. Wait a few days, and the tobacco will have picked up the flavour. "It's in the filter" is a popular fallacy, but take a look the next time you're somewhere that sells loose cigarette tobacco--you'll see that you can buy menthol rolling tobacco. No filters included. Same for machine-made packaged cigars in various flavours; as well as various aromatic pipe tobaccos.

As for the OP, there are a number of reasons. Some were mentioned upthread--the different kinds of pipe tobacco, for instance--but it also has to do with the curing. Pipe tobaccos go through a lot of different curing techniques (pressing, heating, drying, etc.) depending on the blend that is being made and the natural flavours the blender is trying to produce. The oils in the tobacco need time to "marry," or not, as the case may be; and there is also a leaching process that occurs so only a certain amount of natural nicotine is left. As was said, with pipe tobacco, it's all about the flavour and aroma, and not about the nicotine kick, so the pipe tobacco curing process makes sure that pipe tobacco has plenty of flavour.

With cigarette tobacco, it's a different story. Because cigarettes are inhaled, the idea is to cure the tobacco in such a way as to "lock in" the nicotine. This is generally done by "flue-curing," which is a quick process involving (among other things) "toasting" the tobacco. Although I have no definite times for this process, I'd say it could be done in less than a week, compared to six to twelve months (or longer) for pipe and cigar tobacco.

There are a few other reasons as well--the cut of the tobacco, for example (cigarettes, being smaller, must necessarily have their tobacco cut finer if the draw and smoking quality is to be right)--but generally, it boils down to the above. Cigarettes are designed to be smoked frequently by folks who must satisfy their addiction, so a large amount of tobacco must be processed. This needs to be done as quickly and as efficiently as possible, and with flue-curing, it can be. Pipe and cigar smokers don't inhale, so they don't need the nicotine, but they do want the flavour. So the blender takes the necessary time with smaller batches (comparatively speaking) to see to their needs. Generally speaking, top quality pipe and cigar tobacco costs plenty more than cigarette tobacco, ounce-for-ounce, and this care in preparation and lengthy curing time is part of the reason why.

Wish I had some linked cites for this, but I don't. What I do have is plenty of experience writing material for a couple of high-end tobacconists who specialized in pipes and premium handrolled cigars. I'll have to stand on the research I had to do for my clients, and my clients' experiences, and my own experience as a pipe and cigar smoker.

Pullet
12-24-2007, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the details, Spoons!
I have to admit, I'm sad that pipe tobacco isn't more common. Maybe I can get some to stick in an incense burner.

Side question: Pipe smokers, when I encounter them, seem to practice their habit infrequently. Does this have more to do with the lower levels of nicotine in the product, or the fact that loading a pipe takes more time, effort, and expense? Behold, a classic, impossible to answer GQ question :)

Will Repair
12-24-2007, 11:26 PM
I'll admit the method of burning the tobacco, between pipe and cigarette, is different, but isn't the inhalation by the smoker different too? A pipe smoker doesn't inhale as deeply, if at all, correct?

papaw
12-25-2007, 04:48 AM
You can roll cigarettes with pipe tobacco, but as mentioned above, you will have multiple problems. One is that the tobacco won't stay lit if you don't constantly puff it. Ever watched a pipe smoker fiddling with his pipe? He has to relight often. Cigarette tobacco has stuff added to it to keep it lit. Notice that when a cig is put in the ashtray it burns right down all by itself. pipe tobacco won't do that.
It used to be saltpeter that was added, but I don't know if that is still used.

Will Repair
12-25-2007, 05:49 AM
...Ever watched a pipe smoker fiddling with his pipe? He has to relight often. ...
Isn't the amount of curing time different also? Cigarette tobacco is drier, is it not?

...Cigarette tobacco has stuff added to it to keep it lit. ...

An artificial method of curing green tobacco is provided wherein the tobacco is exposed to sulfur dioxide gas. Curing can be effected by completely contacting the tobacco with sulfur dioxide gas and thereafter allowing the tobacco to brown until the desired color is achieved.Although many brands now advertise "No additives." Makes it much safer, no?


...

Cheez_Whia
12-25-2007, 02:50 PM
I used to work for a guy that rolled his own from Prince Albert. I guess years of practice had made him good at keeping them lit. They sure did smell better than regular cigarettes.

Spoons
12-25-2007, 07:21 PM
Side question: Pipe smokers, when I encounter them, seem to practice their habit infrequently. Does this have more to do with the lower levels of nicotine in the product, or the fact that loading a pipe takes more time, effort, and expense? Behold, a classic, impossible to answer GQ question :)Not an impossible question at all. Your latter guess is more on point; the nicotine isn't a factor really, since very few (and no serious) pipe smokers inhale. But the gadgetry and ritual needed for a good pipe smoking experience makes a pipe impractical in many situations.

First, I select the pipe I'm going to smoke. It generally won't be the one I had a smoke in yesterday; they really should rest a day, preferably two, between smokes. Then, I choose the tobacco (at any given time, I may have up to three different blends on the go), and prepare it--if it is a flake tobacco, it needs rubbing out, for example. Other cuts need certain kinds of preparation too. Then, I fill my pipe carefully--don't ask me how; I've done it for so long, it's pure habit. Anyway, my filling technique works such that when I do light up, my pipe will stay lit for a long time before needing a relight. Check the draw--maybe tamp with a finger--check again, and I'm ready for a light. One light, then a tamp with a tamping tool, then another light, and I'm ready to sit back and enjoy my pipe for the next 30 to 60 minutes.

It does take time and effort to do it right (and well), so if I'm going to make time for a pipe, I'm going to do it when I can sit back and enjoy it without something else needing attention. I don't have a pipe when I'm driving, working, or otherwise likely to be distracted somehow, but I will have one in my favourite easy chair when I have nothing more important than a good book or sports on TV to pay attention to, and I have the time (and the free hands) as well. Cigars aren't nearly as complicated, but the idea is the same: a good smoke (and with cigars, it can also be a very expensive smoke) forces you to sit back and relax with it. You pay attention to it, in other words, because of the time, trouble, and expense you put into it.

And when it's done, it's done. Think of pipes and cigars as fine whiskies, and you'll get the idea: having one or two is great, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You can get drunk on single-malt Scotch, but that's not why you drink it. Similarly, a good smoke is a treat to be savoured, not something to be overdone to the point where you feel ill from it. So when you finish your smoke, you set your pipe aside or you put your cigar nub down, and you look forward to the next one--tomorrow, or next week. No rush.

Not am impossible question at all, but I hope my answer makes sense. :)

Pullet
12-25-2007, 08:17 PM
Thanks again, Spoons!

Although, having your cigarette go out seems like a fine thing to me. My mother would often just leave them burning in a nearby ashtray, completely forgotten. If the buggers went out every few minutes, she'd probably save a lot of money. Plus, they would finally be more of a hassle than just quitting, and her perpetual excuse would be subverted.

vetbridge
12-26-2007, 10:30 AM
:D The next time I am at a veterinary conference, I'll keep my eyes open for a woman puffing on rolled pipe tobacco. . .it'll likely be Pullet. (Especially if poultry topics abound)

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