Since the conference, I’ve rolled some more pipe tobacco cigarettes on two different occasions. I’m getting pretty good at it. What made it difficult the first time is the tobacco I had was too moist.  I’ve since discovered that very dry (too dry to smoke in a pipe) tobacco, crumbled up, makes the best cigarettes.  It is almost like I’ve found a use for tobacco that has dried out too much. I’ve got my paper filter folding technique down and can now create a consistent product.  I actually really enjoy rolling them, almost more than I enjoy smoking them. In fact, I have to stop myself from rolling them, because I often don’t even have any desire to smoke one, but I want to roll one, but once I have the cigarette rolled I feel like I can’t let it go to waste, so I end up smoking it. I currently have one rolled, but yet unsmoked cigarette that I rolled but didn’t feel like smoking.

Now, fetish wise, I used to think that aesthetics were pretty important and that RYO wouldn’t cut it. I mean I don’t like watching people smoke RYO. When I say RYO, I’m not talking RYO made with manufactured tubes and an injector. I’m talking a finished product that looks more like a nicely rolled joint, than a cigarette. However, I was wrong to count it out based on looks.

Firstly, I found rolling them to be a slightly erotic experience, almost as much as or more so than actually smoking them.  I actually really enjoy the process. I enjoy that a certain amount of undivided attention must be paid or the result will be shitty. I also enjoy that it takes a bit of skill to make a nice looking and smoking cigarette. My current ones look more like cigarettes than joints, so I feel better about smoking them in public.

How do they smoke? Pretty decent, now that I have my rolling technique down. They stay lit, are pretty easy to draw on and have a really, really nice flavour. The flavour is my favorite part. Not the same harshness or thickness of cigar smoke, but more flavour than a commercial cigarette. They are slightly stronger, have similar smoke volume and slightly denser smoke when compared to a full-flavoured cigarette but without a gross cigarette breath aftertaste.  What do I mean  by gross cigarette breath aftertaste? Sometimes when I would smoke a cigarette, I would taste it for hours afterward despite having chewed gum or brushed my teeth. The after taste and sometimes the taste of commercial cigarettes were sometimes unpleasant. I’m not sure how I would describe the flavour though. It tasted different from the same tobacco smoked in a pipe. Way different. The paper imparts a flavour unique to cigarettes that changes the taste of the smoke from what it tastes like in the pipe. If I had to nail it down, it tastes like pipe smoke mixed with paper. The paper adds a harshness that I’m not sure I like. I also noticed that when you inhale the smoke, you don’t really taste it as much. I did notice that the smell doesn’t linger on my clothes for long and the smoky smell that it does impart is less harsh than after a cigarette is smoked.

I did notice the effect of not having a filter, despite the fact that filters apparently don’t do much of anything. If you are interested in reading more about that, this article was enlightening. Apparently, the original goal was to create a safer cigarette, but all their ‘successes’ resulted in a less pleasurable cigarette. I guess ventilated filters would work, except that smokers adjust their draw to compensate for the lighter smoke, so they end up getting the same effect as they would out of a full-flavour cigarette. What I noticed is that I was slightly more phelmgy than I usually am after I smoke.

I actually wonder what they smell like to a non-smoker or someone walking by. I almost want to get someone to smoke one around me so I can see. Or burn one without actually smoking so I can smell it. I suspect it smells a bit like someone smoking a pipe crossed with burning paper.

I always thought pipe tobacco would make a delicious cigarette and my suspicions are confirmed.  I’m starting not even want to ever buy commercial cigarettes again, which is good since I made an agreement with my fiancée that I wouldn’t. He is not super pleased with the loopholes I have found in the agreement as he would much rather I only smoke pipes and cigars.

Will this discovery increase my cigarette consumption? Well, I have to say it already has. I rolled and smoked two last weekend and I smoked four this weekend, two Saturday and two Sunday. I’m back to abstaining for the week and probably longer.  Another thing I noticed about these cigarettes is the buzz is different. It feels more similar to how I feel after smoking a pipe, despite the fact that I am smoking it like a cigarette. I also seem to crave them less, despite the fact that I smoked both Saturday and Sunday, I don’t feel like I need to smoke today.  I started writing this post on Monday and on Monday I felt like I craved them less and didn’t feel the need to smoke. By Tuesday evening, I felt a very intense craving to smoke. I started planning to smoke in the morning. After all, I had one already rolled. I didn’t feel like smoking in the morning though, and then forgot my smoking stuff at home and now I feel fine.

What I realized last night is, that in some ways, I’ve been addicted since I took my first real inhale. I spent the early part of my experimentation so worried I would become addicted when ironically I already was addicted. Not physically, but psychologically. Really the physical addiction just heightens the cravings I already experience. I mean I smoke for more than the effect of nicotine, however, a large part of why I smoke is because I like the way that nicotine makes me feel. I like smoking tobacco in all of its forms and each for different reasons. I like the ritual involved with pipe smoking. I like the large clouds of smoke with cigar smoking and the closeness of the tobacco to my mouth. Cigarettes are my first love, and I like the instant effect they have on me. Cigarettes are instant gratification.

It also made me realize how much I like pipe smoking and that by far it is the superior way to consume pipe tobacco. So I’m going to put down the rolling papers for a time and stick to smoking pipes and cigars. I’m not sure how long I will abstain for this time but I feel like I need a bit of space between me and tobacco right now. Until next time…