The college student finally decided to try smoking a pipe. About time, too: he had liked the idea for a long time, loved the smell of pipe tobacco, and, frankly, thought it would look...well, distinguished. Certainly, then, time to give it a try.
He got his chance when a Cigarette Orgy store opened up near his campus. He and his buddies took a trip to check the place out, and saw lots of cigarettes, yes, but also some pipes and few packages that were labeled "pipe tobacco." He made his purchase and, outside of his residence hall (no smoking inside, of course) lit his first pipe.
Which tasted like shit.
And smelled like a burning tire.
And burned like gonorrhea.
Because, although he had purchased a decent pipe, the "pipe tobacco," as the package's label called it, was actually cigarette tobacco.
As a result, he thought anybody who like to smoke a pipe wasn't distinguished, but deranged. Really, who could enjoy such noxious shit? It was labeled as "pipe tobacco," and...ugh.
The college student threw away the pipe and tobacco, vowing to stick with his Marlboros.
Our student above fell into a modern trap for new pipe smokers. A lot of cigarette tobacco at this time is labeled as pipe tobacco, and it is not pipe tobacco. Why? Money, money, money: the tax rate on roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette tobacco went insanely high a few years ago, while the tax rate on (genuine) pipe tobacco only went up a small amount. As a result, RYO manufacturers and distributors changed the name on their packages from cigarette tobacco to pipe tobacco.
Now, yeah, RYO can be smoked in a pipe. So can toilet paper, but that's not pipe tobacco either. Real pipe tobacco, contrasted with RYO tobacco, has:
--a higher moisture content. It feels damper than the dry-ass RYO.
--generally, a thicker or different cut than RYO. Cigarette tobacco has to be uniform in order for it to be rolled correctly; pipe tobacco can be a mix of different cuts.
--a slower burn rate. RYO is made to burn quickly--even quicker than fire-safe cigarettes.
The best way to avoid this trap is to visit your local tobacco store. The local Cigarette Orgy outlet may be handy, but most likely won't know anything about genuine pipe tobacco. The above incident was based on a true story; the student ended up coming into the Uhle Tobacco Company, where I work,and relayed his misadventure. Fortunately, he was given some real pipe tobacco and was told of the RYO trap. Some other newbie pipe smokers, though, made not be as lucky. I hope they come here first when they decide to try a pipe.
And if nothing else, we do sell Marlboros, too.