While it is not as common as cigarette smoking, pipe tobacco is still used by those who prefer to smoke a pipe over other forms of tobacco. Some people think that smoking tobacco from a pipe is a safe alternative to chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, but that is not true. Pipe tobacco still contains carcinogens which have been said to cause health problems.
Other forms of tobacco
Often, using other forms of tobacco serves as an alternative to smoking tobacco from a pipe. Some former pipe smokers prefer to smoke cigarettes or cigars when trying to give up pipe tobacco. Others prefer to not light up at all and will begin chewing tobacco as an alternative. Regardless of the method of tobacco use, none of them is a safe alternative. Cigarettes and cigars are as dangerous as smoking pipe tobacco. Chewing tobacco has other possible dangers associated with it, such as mouth and throat cancer.
Some pipe smokers would prefer to not use tobacco at all. In these cases, smoking cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco is not an alternative to smoking a pipe. Instead, chewing on toothpicks or sucking on lollipops often helps the smoking cessation process. In addition, doing puzzles, reading a book or doing some other sort of hobby or activity such as exercising can occupy the smoker's mind. Some pipe smokers prefer to keep an empty pipe in their mouths for the psychological benefit of being able to keep the pipe, but not actually smoking anything out of it.
Another alternative to pipe tobacco is herbal smoke. Herbal smoke replaces pipe tobacco with herbs such as lemon balm, mint, sages (salvia), mugwort and sagebrush. These herbs do not contain nicotine and are therefore thought to be safer than pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco or the tobacco found in cigars and cigarettes. Herbal smoke comes in different flavors and can easily be purchased from vendors on the Internet. Herbal smoke flavors can be mixed to create a new flavor.
While this alternative does not contain nicotine, smoking it still carries its own risks. The smoke from herbal smoke is thought to affect the lungs over a long period of time.