Pipe Smoking Health

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Chemistry and Toxicology Research

The following links are to PDFs of Dr. John Lauterbach's presentation notes to the 2015 and 2017 Tobacco Science Research Conferences. His company, Lauterbach & Associates, LLC, provides scientific and regulatory affairs support to small and medium-size manufacturers of tobacco products. He writes, "We market our services by conducting original research (generally with the help of those who have laboratories) on chemistry and toxicology of tobacco products. Over the past few years, we have focused our efforts on tobacco products other than cigarettes and moist snuff and snus. The main reason for this has been the lack of contemporary scientific knowledge of the chemistry and toxicological properties of the products that regulators might purchase at retail and then draw unwarranted scientific conclusions that could be used to reduce or eliminate products made by manufacturers other than the large multinational tobacco companies."

The following are examples of their work on pipe tobacco.

Contact Information:

Lauterbach & Associates, LLC Website: http://www.lauterbachandassociates.net/.

Reducing Risks of Pipe and Cigar Smoking

Summary Notes from the lecture of Henri P. Gaboriau M.D. to the Seattle Pipe Club on March 2002, courtesy, Seattle Pipe Club

The highest to lowest risks from tobacco products are as follows

  1. Cigarettes: Primary Risks are Lungs, throat (Erytroplaleia)
  2. Cigars: Primary Risks are Lip, tongue
  3. Smokeless – snuff, chew etc.: Primary Risks are Gum line (Leukoplakia)
  4. Pipes: Primary Risks are Tongue

Lung cancer risk index study

  • Non-smoker 1.0 (base number)
  • Cigarette – 20 grams / day; 16.0 (i.e. 16 x the risk of non-smokers)
  • Cigar – 20 grams / day; 3.2
  • Pipe – if > 10 bowls per day; 6.7
  • Pipe – if 5 bowls per day; 3.2
  • Pipe – if 3 bowls per day; 1.5
  • Pipe – if 2 bowls per day; 1.26
  • typical - 2 bowls every 2-3 days; ~1.05 (almost same as non-smoker)

(Source Webline – reviewed 22 articles. 21,520 smokers studied between 1969 – 93)

Bladder cancer risk index

(although more rare in smokers than is lung and throat cancer)

  • Non-smoker 1.0
  • Cigarette 3.5
  • Cigar 2.3
  • Pipe 1.9

Do Pipe and Cigar smokers inhale?

Most Cigar and Pipe smokers do not inhale - unless they were former cigarette smokers. To test the theory, a study* was conducted with an endoscope camera down the nose and throat to observe breathing patterns in smokers. Here were the results:

  • Former cigarette smokers inhaled pipes like cigarettes
  • Cigar and pipe smokers – breathed normally first, then inhaled into mouth only, smoke was mostly blocked from throat by tongue, then exhaled the smoke w/o going into the lungs.
  • You can test this on yourself. Take a toke on a pipe or cigar as you normally would. Now breathe in and out through your nose two or three times. Do you see smoke when you in exhale? If yes, you are inhaling. If no, now exhale the smoke from your mouth. Did smoke come out of your mouth? If yes, you are not inhaling and are tremendously decreasing your risk of lung cancer.

(Source "Pattern of inhalation of Tobacco Smoke in Pipe, Cigarette and Never Smokers” AM Rev Respir Dis 1985)

Reducing the risk of tongue burn and/or tongue and mouth cancer

  • A burn or scar from hot smoke is what you are trying to avoid. This can lead to cancer.
  • Don’t leave the pipe clenched in your teeth in one position touching your tongue for a long time. Move the pipe around your mouth as you smoke.
  • Sip your pipe like a fine wine, don’t draw heavily.
  • Find a cool burning tobacco that you enjoy. Aromatic tobaccos tend to burn hotter than do English.
  • Always drink while you smoke. This helps cool the mouth, quench the thirst from dry smoke, coat the mouth from hot smoke, and wash away any hot debris. Water, sodas, coffee, tea are fine. Don’t drink anything very hot though.
  • However, sorry everyone, do not drink alcohol while you smoke. The combination of alcohol and smoke is not just a linear risk, but exponential. This is a huge mistake most smokers make. The alcohol destroys the flora and protective lining of mucus in the mouth. Then the hot smoke will directly come in contact with the unprotected mouth lining. Drink alcohol only after you smoke.
  • Smoking depletes the body of vitamins A and C. Take up to 3000 mg of VC a day. Also take selenium and other antioxidants that will help buffer your body from free radicals, cancer and anti-aging.

Medical examination

At least once a year, tell your physician you are a pipe smoker and would like to have your mouth and tongue examined. Schedule your teeth exams ~ 6 months after your physician’s and have your dentist give another exam. You now have two exams a year, by two different medical specialists.

Life expectancy for Pipe Smokers

Okay, sit down for this…. A US Surgeon General report “Smoking and Health” (No. 1103, page 112) noted, “Death rates for current pipe smokers were little if at all higher than for non-smokers, even with men smoking 10 pipefuls per day and with men who had smoked pipes for more than 30 years.” On page 92 the report also stated that pipe smokers who inhale live as long as nonsmokers and pipe smokers that don’t inhale live longer than non-smokers.

What? Life expectancy for pipe smokers is three years longer than… Non-Smokers! Just try to use that argument with an anti-smoking activist! Of course this is not to encourage people to smoke, but has more to do with the personality of a typical pipe smoker. Most are type “B” where most cigarette smokers are type “A”. So a pipe smoker, on average, is a more laid back person. Second, smoking a pipe is very relaxing. You just can’t be angry when you are smoking a pipe.

Cigars are also relaxing but it seems, not as much as pipes. Most cigarette smoking is not so much a relaxing experience as it is a need for nicotine.

Other interesting facts and some to keep in mind

  1. Pipe smoking is the lowest tobacco risk - but the risk is not zero.
  2. Pipe smoking risk is much like a second hand smoke risk
  3. Pipe tobacco has less nicotine per gram than cigarettes and contains very little of the additives.
  4. Wet smoking is the worst risk so be sure and clean pipe thoroughly.
  5. If you have any sores in your mouth or a sore throat, wait to let the mouth heal first.
  6. The main risks from cigars is chewing the cigar and the direct contact with the lips.
  7. 27% of all smokers are pipe smokers in Sweden. In US only 2%

I hope you follow the tips above. If you do, you should significantly lower your health risks from pipe and cigar smoking. Wishing you a wonderfully aromatic, relaxing and healthy enjoyment of your favorite pipe and cigar for a long lifetime.

Disclaimer: Note that the information provided in this lecture summary report are the opinions of Dr. Gaboriau. The Seattle Pipe Club has documented the lecture for informational purposes only and claims no responsibility for the accuracy of its content.

Protecting the roof of your mouth

DIY Denture experiment, Giulliano Spitaletti Smoking guard

This article shows only my experience and I am not recommending anyone to repeat what I have done without a recommendation from a doctor or dentist. I am not a scientist or a doctor so this text is not scientifically proven to be safe, is merely a personal point of view from myself a Non-professional healthcare Recently I developed a denture made of a non-expensive thermoplastic ( insta morph or. polimorph available at amazon and ebay), a material when heats up in the water can be mouldable inside the mouth providing perfect imprinting, which I use as a shield to isolate the roof of the mouth from the smoke. I call this denture Smoking guard.

A full review video can be found here:


This DIY denture intends to protect the roof of the mouth against the smoke chemicals and the smoke heat. Please before you start making your denture made out of this thermo plastic not tested by any dental organization (not proven to be safe) I strongly recommend you to consider to get made a resin denture made by a dentist. The initial point of this product came during research where I found out a disease called nicotine stomatitis has been appearing commonly in pipe smokers. Nicotine stomatitis is a condition that is hidden up on the palette and is painless. I believe a great percentage of pipe smokers might have it and not even acknowledged it. It starts with red dots, loss of colour or a blackish colouration on the palette skin. Among many types of diseases such as cancers and sores in the mouth that could potentially rise from pipe smoking, i believe By protecting the roof of the mouth a great part of the problems in pipe smoking could diminish I believe the denture won't eliminate the risk of smoking tobacco but it will decrease the area of exposition, possibly decreasing the harms. I develop this denture only as prevention and not because i have the condition.

Following is the article and the link to the article:


What is nicotine stomatitis? Nicotine stomatitis, also often called smoker's palate, is a reaction seen on the roof of the mouth caused by extreme heat in the mouth, most commonly from smoking. It is known by many other names including nicotinic stomatitis, stomatitis nicotina and smoker's keratosis. Nicotine stomatitis is usually seen in pipe smokers and reverse cigarette smokers (when the lit end of the cigarette is placed in the mouth). It is probably due to the concentrated heat stream hitting the roof of the mouth. Less commonly it develops with cigarette or cigar smoking and rarely with drinking extremely hot liquids. The combination of hot drinks and smoking may increase the risk. It is related to the duration and extent of the habit, requiring longterm exposure. Men and women develop nicotine stomatitis, but as pipe smoking is more common with men, so nicotine stomatitis shows a male predominance. In one large study, nicotine stomatitis was found in 60% of pipe smokers and 30% of cigarette smokers. Clinical features of nicotine stomatitis Nicotine stomatitis is often found on routine examination of the mouth as it usually does not cause any symptoms. Sometimes it may be mildly irritating. Initially there is redness of the hard palate and sometimes the adjacent soft palate. With time, the palate becomes white with a cracked appearance likened to dried mud. Characteristically there are numerous scattered red dots. These are the inflammed duct openings of minor salivary glands. Dentures protect the palate from the heat stream. The changes are then seen only towards the back of the roof of the mouth beyond the area covered by the denture. Nicotine stomatitis itself is not regarded as premalignant except with reverse smoking. However, smoking is associated with the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma so the conditions can co-exist. How is nicotine stomatitis diagnosed? Nicotine stomatitis is a clinical diagnosis based on the pattern on the palate and typical white ‘cracked’ appearance with the red dots. However a mucosal biopsy may sometimes be required to exclude dysplasia (oral leukoplakia) or oral cancer. Treatment of nicotine stomatitis The only treatment is to stop smoking. The changes then improve within 1-2 weeks. Any persistent or suspicious areas should be biopsied. Regular examination of the mouth is required because of the risk of oral cancer in smokers. See

Pipe Smoking and Health

A review of the medical literature, for the use of pipe smokers and health care professionals.

This review is in the editors original PDF, which maintains his formating: Pipe Smoking and Health

Prepared by:

John H. Trestrail III, RPh, FAACT, DABAT
Clinical & Forensic Toxicologist
5757 Hall St., S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-3845
616-676-9945 (home)
616-486-5519 (office)
E-Mail: mailto:venomous@iserv.net


Most pipe smokers consider themselves greatly different from the other users of tobacco, and as such they must be approached in a much different manner when discussing possible health consequences of their utilization of tobacco. As a result, many needs have been voiced by pipe smokers who would like to know where their type of tobacco use fits into the voluminous literature now pouring forth on the health effects of tobacco use.

In an attempt to obtain a more accurate perspective on the subject, this literature review is being compiled, which represents a current bibliography, with index, of articles dealing with the health effects of pipe smoking. The compiler of this work has a personal interest in the subject both from the perspective being a pipe smoker as well as a toxicologist. It is hoped this compilation will prove beneficial to pipe smokers, as well as health professionals who have to deal with patients who use tobacco in this form.

This review effort is a dynamic process, and the work is constantly being revised with new citations as they are published. If individuals know of any additional literature citations, please send copies of articles to the compiler listed above.

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Off site links