Friday, September 16, 2011

Pipes vs. Cigar Mathhammer

Pipes vs. Cigars

Sure, pipes are luxurious. Sure, they are artful in their design and elegant in their simplicity. Sure, that's all true. But what about a cigar?

Even if you don't buy into Freudian analysis, it's hard to deny the pure aura of power exuded by one lighting up a good cigar. And why not? After all, a good cigar can run one anywhere from $5 to $15 or even more. For one smoke, that is a hefty sum.

The realization of how much a single cigar can cost causes one to wonder. It is common knowledge that smoking a pipe will save one money over smoking cigarettes, but what about over cigars?

Let's start with the cigarettes, since it's easier:

Assuming one doesn't live in New York, a pack of cigarettes now averages more that $5 a pack, so let's go with $5.50 a pack, to be generous. Let's also assume that you aren't as bad as a two-pack-a-day smoker, but you do manage to knock out one pack every day. Simple math:

        5 x 365 = $2,007.50 a year.

God forbid you live in New York City and smoke two packs a day, a habit that will cost you about $10,000 a year. Bye-bye, college fund!

Now, what about cigars? Well, naturally, one won't be smoking 20 cigars a day! But, let's assume one will be enjoy one cigar an evening with a glass of Scotch (sounds nice to me!). Also, so as not to stack the deck against cigars, let's assume you don't go overboard with 15 year old cigars, and instead enjoy a good old Macanudo, which will run you about $5 a pop. So, again, some simple math:

        5 x 365 = $1,825 a year.

Not quite as bad as cigarettes and a hell of a lot better tasting!

What about pipes?

Well, that gets a little more complicated, because pipes have a little bit more equipment, including: 
Pipe cleaners ($20 worth should hold you over for a year) 

A tamper ($5 at the most) 

and the pipe itself. Let's give this invisible pipe smoker a good pipe, maybe by Peterson, for about $80.

Now for the tobacco itself. Well, assuming once more that this pipe smoker has good taste and smokes brands like G. L. Pease and McClelland, which will run one about $10 for a tin of two ounces.

Now, an ounce will normally give the average pipe smoker between 10 and 15 bowl. Let's say 10 bowls, to give the cigars a fighting shot, and, instead of one smoke a day, let's say he has two bowls of tobacco a day. So, that means 730 bowls a year, which means 73 ounces of tobacco a year. Now, that we have this information, we can make our final calculation:

Pipe cleaners (20) + tamper (5) + pipe (80) + 37 tins of 2oz of tobacco (370) = $470 a year.

Wow! That's even with the pipe smoker buying a good pipe and smoking two bowls a day. The pipe smoker has still saved $1,400 dollars a year over the cigar smoker. That means the pipe smoker could smoke four bowls a day and buy a $600 Danish pipe instead of a Peterson and still come out on top.

(Tonny Nielsen freehand)

Let's recap:

One pack of cigarettes a day: $2,007.50 a year.

One mid-range cigar a day: $1,825 a year.

One high-end pipe a year and four bowls of high-end tobacco a day: $1,735 a year.

One mid-range pipe a year and two bowls of high-end tobacco a day: $470 a year.

I guess pipe smoking is not only enjoyable and good for your stress level, but it's good for your wallet, too.

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