Einstein, Pipe Smoking and Electronic Cigarettes

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by: James Dunworth

Huge thanks to Aaron Frazier of Utah Vapers for this post.

Einstein picture with pipe in mouth.

While out camping over this last weekend, I had some down time to catch up on some reading due to a round of storms. One of the articles discussed the pro’s and con’s along with the anti-tobacco movement as it related to pipe smoking from nearly a decade ago. I must admit I was genuinely surprised that I stumbled upon so many similarities to that of electronic cigarettes, or rather for the sake of this article, personal vaporizers. I was also shocked to see the nanny’s being fought back then are the same ones we are still fighting against a decade later. The core of their argument they raised was the same a decade ago that it is today – quit or die trying. So let me start by quoting the story that got me thinking:

Einstein and Pipe Smoking

Einstein smoking his pipe.

Image Source

Einstein was very passionate about his pipe smoking. During one lecture, he ran out of pipe tobacco and borrowed some cigarettes from his students so he could crumple the tobacco into his pipe.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “I believe we’ve made a great discovery!” He later decided that his conclusion was premature. He realized that cigarette tobacco lacks the aroma, the fullness, and the taste of pipe tobacco. But what appealed most to Einstein was the entire ritual of pipe smoking: carefully choosing from a variety of pipes and tobaccos, delicately loading the briar, puffing and tamping, and the associated contemplation.

“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs,” he said in 1950 at age 71.

Electronic Cigarettes and Ritual

Pipe smoking ritual.

This is how many vapers feel about electronic cigarette (EC) and personal vaporizers (PV). Most of us started with EC’s to save some money or get us off the habit considered by society to be dangerous and unhealthy. Then in the short 4 or 5 years the product has been available to us (yes it’s been around for almost 10 years) and an amazing thing happened – American innovation! People began to invent and skillfully craft PV’s much like the artisan pipe carvers from a century ago. Pipe smokers cherish their beautiful and well crafted meerschaum and briar pipes. PV users do have a selection of e-pipes (of which this author would LOVE to own) but we also have well crafted and technologically advanced products, and dare I say one of the most sought after ones, like the Darwin or the more popular Silver Bullet PV’s just to name a few. Much like Einstein, we vapers have a definite ritual associated with the PV’s.

Before I continue, I must explain to the lay person that there there is a vast difference between an EC and a PV. The EC is what you would expect it to be, a cigarette or maybe cigar shaped device meant to mimic the real thing with a light at the end when used. A PV [ED: similar to our super tank], ahh my sweet PV, is a larger more advanced device capable of a more satisfying vaping experience without the illumination in most cases. PV’s are to a vaper are what a pipe is in respect to pipe smokers. After reading the story and the quote above I began to contemplate human affairs in a new way.

I started looking at EC’s and PV’s in a way that had never really occurred to me. To put it simply, PV’s are like the modern jazzed up version of tobacco pipes no different than EC’s are the updated & jazzed up version of tobacco cigarettes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking tobacco pipes at all. Even today after being smoke free for nearly 2 years, being near someone smoking a tobacco pipe still sets my mind a blaze with memories from my youth. Memories of my friends dad tamping in a fresh load of ‘grand-dad’s’ cherry tobacco, lighting it up as the sweet smell filled my nostrils. Yes there was something very calming and soothing about the smoke from a pipe. I could still to this day sit in a room of pipe smokers and revel in the aroma from the exotic tobaccos and…oh sorry, I’m digressing quite a bit here but I think you get my point.

Vaping Compared to Pipe Smoking

Claire with a smoker's halo super tank.

Image from our gallery.

What many, including some vapers, do not realize is that vaping on a PV is much like smoking a pipe; an enjoyable hobby more than a habit. It relaxes the person. It tastes GOOD. It helps us unwind. It helps us cope with stress. It enhances our mental objectivity. It facilitates contemplation. Throw in some Pink Floyd along with your contemplation and you have pure bliss my friends. Many of the longer term EC users turn to the hobby and enjoyment of PV’s – collecting, sampling, and even building. Then there is the actual vaping. We all rediscovered our sense of taste and much like exotic pipe tobacco, there are many flavors considered by many to be exotic and we all find that ‘one’ flavor & aroma which we enjoy the most that relaxes us.

In the last 9 years, EC’s and PV’s have turned into a global industry – one that has created thousands of jobs in a myriad of markets in many different countries. This is a consumer driven jobs program the governments could not have done if they tried. The nanny’s that campaign aggressively against PV’s and EC’s (you know who they are) never consider these benefits nor will they admit to it. They just want to regulate and control the activity which, in their opinion, is not good for you in a strict biological sense. Their control and regulation would in turn destroy the jobs this consumer market created.

I could delve deeply into the person that essentially founded the anti-nicotine movement and fought against smoking among other behaviors he considered outside his beliefs but I won’t in this article. Unfortunately upon his death, his ideals and philosophies did not die with him and have grown stronger today than ever. Or maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe, just maybe I should be THANKING him for starting the movement. Because without him, his ideals, philosophies and motivation; however misguided and morally wrong they were, is what set the world on track towards such an amazing discovery.

I’m going to close by saying that with the recent and upcoming scientific publications showing the lack of harm associated with vaping, I’m certain Einstein would partake in an e-pipe or a Darwin to ponder his ‘calm and objective judgment in all human affairs’. Oh and for the record, based on an early 1970’s study some scientist discovered long time pipe smokers lived an average of 3-5 years longer than that of non-smokers. What will they say in 50-60 years about vapers?

Einstein poking his tongue out at a reporter.

If you enjoyed this post you will love 25 Quotes on Smoking, Anti-Smoking and Electronic Cigarettes.

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3 Responses to “Einstein, Pipe Smoking and Electronic Cigarettes”

  1. Paul September 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    And the absurdity has no limits…see http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18/after-200-years-santa-kicks-a-bad-habit-publisher-activist-update-twas-the-night-before-christmas-take-away-st-nicks-pipe/ for a story on the de-piping of Santa “to save the children”.

  2. James September 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Paul. Is that a new blog you have there?

  3. Jen September 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Loved reading this story. I, too can remember someone smoking a pipe in our home and how beautiful the smell was. I was raised amongst smokers so it’s always been a part of my life. I’ve never tried a pipe but wouldn’t mind, just for a laugh! Having started with the eCigarette, it was great moving to the Super Tank and all those lovely flavours. I’ve tried a few of them now. Can’t wait to try out the new clearomisers; I’ve ordered a few!

    Great pic of Einstien!

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