Nobody is supposed to like smoking these days, but I do enjoy my cigars and my pipes.
My cigars are premium handrolled Cubans or Dominicans for the most part, though cigars from other places (e.g. Honduras) are in my humidors too. But all are handrolled–no machine-mades with plastic tips, or flavored in any way. Just pure tobacco, aged and rolled in the way the blender intended.
My pipes are all hand-carved briar wood bowls, with stems of Lucite or Ebonite. As someone once said, “A pipe is a work of art that you can smoke,” and mine are no exception. Such pipes do cost money, and they deserve the best tobaccos, so I only smoke the best tobaccos, blended in the UK, Ireland, and Denmark.
Here’s the thing: the expense of my cigars and my pipes force me to slow down, if not stop, in my busy life. I’m not going to smoke a $30 cigar while cutting the back lawn; I’m going to save it for a movie or sports event I want to watch on TV. The same with my pipes: why would I smoke a $25-an-ounce tobacco in a $250 pipe if I didn’t just want 30 to 45 minutes of relaxation in my favorite chair, often with a good book? Heck, at such times, I don’t even answer the phone. Such times are my times.
I would never advise anybody to take up smoking. It is physically unhealthy; of that, there is no doubt. But for me, the occasional indulgence in a premium handrolled cigar, or a hand-carved pipe of fine European tobacco is worth the risk. The breaks I take to smoke my cigars and my pipes keep me grounded. And ready to go, mentally, when I need to be.