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HOW TO SMOKE A PIPE
COME FUMARE LA PIPA
Trickle the tobacco (well unraveled and moist) in small pinches: the first on the bottom of the chamber, the other on top of it. If you have packed your pipe carefully, you will have a good draw (and a good draw means avoiding resistance while sucking, hot pipe, burnt tongue, too much humidity...). With your finger, lightly press the tobacco surface, removing any excess.
Now, time to light the tobacco surface: do it puffing gently, but often. Use wooden matches or butane lighters, because wax matches give an unpleasant smell to tobacco.Re-lighting is often necessary, because the first lighting will only char the top of the tobacco. You now have to tamper (it is the famous thumb stroke between two matches; but it is advisable to use a tamper tool) the tobacco surface and re-light.
Smoking pace is important, it should be slow, calm and have a rhythm. The smoke should be almost invisible. Those used to smoking cigarettes, have to start all over again. Puffing strongly and quick causes many inconveniences: the pipe burns too hot, the tongue bits and there is dampness. The rhythm at which you puff your pipe is achieved gradually. From time to time, press the burning tobacco and re-establish a good draw. If the pipe extinguishes, don't worry, re-light it. The ash helps a regular and calm combustion: before re-lighting, you can eliminate the extra ash flipping the pipe over.
The smoke of the pipe is not inhaled or swallowed (where is otherwise the difference with smoking a cigarette which causes a higher physical damage?). It is tasted between nose and palate. A pipe smoker does not burn the tobacco, he savours it. You can re-light as many times as you want, but it is not a good idea to keep smoking a wet and compact unburned tobacco. In this case, better to throw the old tobacco away than risking a disgusting flavour.
When you finish smoking, scoop out any ash and dottle using a pipe companion, and a lot of care. Never bang your pipe against a hard surface, or your shoe heel. Blow through the stem and then run a pipe cleaner back and forth for two, three times. Do not open the pipe, this is an extremely dangerous operation when the pipe is hot. You are now ready for a new smoke.