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ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

This is a discussion on ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Puffer Fish BLESKOP's Avatar


     

    ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    My European and American fellow lovers of the briar seem to relish with a large available variety of pipes and literally hundreds of tobacco varieties for sale in their own countries. Why is this so? Why not here in South Africa?
    I was hoping my home country had something more on offer. More about pipe collecting, more online shopping, more variety for me to savor, more to learn from this seemingly forgotten practice of puffing on the stems of these little beautiful wooden bowls. There is only one website I could find indicating that pipe smoking is still somewhat alive in South Africa. They have a small range of pipes (Dunhill, Savinelli, Dunhill, Keyser, Lorenzo, Stanwell Rossi, Marca and even a few refurbished pipes). It has also lots on offer to enthrall any pipe or cigar smoker or tobacco consumer. I think it is one of the more predominant retailers that are keeping pipe smoking alive in South Africa. My next step is to try some of their house blend tobaccos which sell at my local tobacconist.
    The lineup of tobacco variety compared to the USA and Europe is sadly disappointing. The tobacconists here cannot be blamed for this for two reasons. Pipes smoking have dramatically declined over the years in SA and the “sin” tax and import tax on tobacco is horrendous.
    We have however local “African” brands that you will find here. Typical brands are Boxer, BB, Fox, Jock, Assegai, Horseshoe Cotton and Rum and Maple. These are mainly Virgina or Virginia / Burley blends.
    Internationally made tobaccos in the 50g plastic rolled up pouches well known to all pipe smokers around the globe such as the usual Borkum Riff, Holland House, Amphora and Mac Barren blends are also available here.
    To my disappointment, there is not a lot of tinned tobacco available here. There is no doubt that serious pipe smokers love the allure and magic of tobacco in a shiny tin. I am no exception. Those that one can find here are the usual Peterson tobacco range namely Irish Flake, University Flake, Old Dublin, Sherlock Holmes, Connoisseur’s choice, Sunset Breeze and the rest of these well known Peterson blends. These are superb imported tobaccos, but a huge luxury for the average South African consumer and are much higher in price than the 50 gr plastic rolled up pouches. They are however very rare to find locally.
    There is also beautifully packed Borkum Riff “Admirals Flake” featured in tins with two flavors – vanilla and cherry.

    One cannot help envying the pipe smokers abroad who, judging from this forum, have vast, easy access to literally hundreds of different types of tobaccos and pipes. It is a pity that I cannot walk into a tobacconist here and buy the same good stuff. I really would like to get my hands on some tins.
    Personally, it is sad that something so pleasurable has seemed to almost die out in South Africa. It seems there are only a handful of us who still enjoy and keep alive this old ritual in this modern era.
    On a positive note I’m glad I can be part of this forum where I can continue to enjoy it, even if I were the last person in South Africa doing it.
    "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs" - Albert Einstein

  2. #2

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish tmoran's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    There are some retailers who will ship internationally, 4Noggins and Milan Tobacco are two of them. Just be aware that you are responsible for any additional taxes or fees. I don't really know how your government handles that. Some countries permit a certain amount in without extra taxes, some tax everything, and sometimes items can slip through unnoticed.

  3. #3

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Well, this puts my frustration over not having a B&M locally in perspective!
    ********.com

  4. #4

    Puffer Fish with some spikes izkeh's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Well, this puts my frustration over not having a B&M locally in perspective!
    Exactly what I thought too.

  5. #5

    Full grown Puffer Fish KungFumeta's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Spain has gotten a lot better in the past few years but it's still crappy.
    It used to be exactly like BLESKOP is describing. 4 years ago even Samuel Gawith was legally unavailable.only borkum riff and a few substandard otcs. Crucially, the online sale of tobacco is illegal in this country.
    Today, we have no dunhill, no Pease, no hearth and home, no C&D, in fact, I think no American tobacco at all. But we do get Gawith, peterson, almost the complete mac baren lineup and a few other good ones
    along the usual borkum riff and otcs.
    Some of us order online from the states to be able to sample the huge breadth of exquisite blends available to you Americans. Even with shipping, the good prices available online means that it is not significantly more expensive than locally available tobacco.
    That's unless you take a 260% customs hit if your package gets stopped, which does happen somewhat often, and is almost guaranteed on any order over 17oz or so. Even then, at close to 25$ a tin it's remarkably close to the 18 dollars some of you have to pay at your local b&m. And about half of what some Canadians have to shell out.
    On top of all this, b&m s generally suck, and there is absolutely no smoking permitted inside them. How ******* dumb can you get?? This means that smoking lounges just don't exist.

    The smoking culture is collapsing all around us and it's a damn shame. From reading this and other forums I'm aware of how smoking is becoming more and more prosecuted by the US state but believe me, you have it nowhere near as bad as anywhere in Europe...

    So yeah I guess I too am a little envious of smokers abroad, particularly those living in the USA.
    "A good cuban cigar shuts the door to the vulgarities of the world" Franz Liszt

  6. #6

    My cat's Chief of Staff El wedo del milagro's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    I remember smoking in theatres in Korea.

    I remember smoking in a hospital lobby in Mexico.

    I remember running outta smokes on a bus in Argentina and a nun gave me a cigar.

    I guess those days are over, except for maybe Asia. They have an incredibly high smoking rate.

  7. #7

    Young Puffer Fish BLESKOP's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by tmoran View Post
    There are some retailers who will ship internationally, 4Noggins and Milan Tobacco are two of them. Just be aware that you are responsible for any additional taxes or fees. I don't really know how your government handles that. Some countries permit a certain amount in without extra taxes, some tax everything, and sometimes items can slip through unnoticed.
    Thanks Tim. I will definitely give it a try. I went on Saturday to one of my local tobacconist (there are only 3 ) to buy some pipe cleaners. I enquired from the sales lady about tobacco tins and needless to say....they don't stock any tins BUT (and it's a small "but") she might be able to get hold of some Peterson tins however according to her they are very rare and she couldn't gave me a price on them. So I reckon with my birthday coming up on Wednesday it wouldn't be a bad idea to spoil myself with some Peterson tins? Hopefully the tobacconist can deliver something.....See what I must go through to get some decent "twak" (Afrikaans for tobacco) ....
    "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs" - Albert Einstein

  8. #8

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    I love it! Gonna score me some twak!
    ********.com

  9. #9

    Young Puffer Fish BLESKOP's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    I love it! Gonna score me some twak!
    And then you keep it in your "twak sak" - tobacco pouch
    "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs" - Albert Einstein

  10. #10

    Young Puffer Fish BLESKOP's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    For me pipe smoking is about the whole experience and part of that experience would be building a relationship with your local tobacconist. For me having this passion for pipes, tobacco and cigars there is that itch inside me that constantly needed to be scratched. Currently this forum is scratching that itch but is it enough? Now with this problem on hand with the availability of all sorts of tobacco in South Africa one can go easily go the route of buying on-line but it doesn't have that personal touch. So I decided it is time to search for that tobacconist who can scratch this itch. Now bearing in mind that there is only three tobacconists close by I made a check list with some key elements. Distance, products, cost comparison and most importantly, the owner or staff's knowledge of pipe smoking, tobacco and advice to my questions.
    Lets call them A,B and C. A was the one I visited over the weekend. Firstly I didn't feel comfortably in the shop as it is a lady owner with no pipe smoking background. I might be wrong but I get the impression she's only there to earn her bread on the table. Although she is willing to get me some Peterson tobacco she couldn't provide me with which flavours and what the estimate cost would be. All though she gave me hope the question must be asked: Does it satisfy my need. The only positive side was that this shop is the closest to my home for pipe cleaners. Moving on to B. I visited the store once for a humidifier and hygrometer. I was impressed with the service and assistance of the sales lady. Today I phoned to enquire about the tin tobacco from them. The owner himself answered the phone and to my surprise he was quite knowledgeable on the topic as he is a pipe smoker himself. He have Peterson Irish Flake and Universal Flake available and will get other flavours during the week. The cost is $15.75 for 50g. He also stock sometimes Mac Baren and Davidoff but they are much more expensive. Now feel that scratching.... Than there is C. I never visited the shop but definitely will. On enquiry the saleslady informed me that she have all Peterson flavours on hand for only $13.56 a 50g tin. I must say that itching is getting better but I still envy you guys.
    "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs" - Albert Einstein

  11. #11

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by tmoran View Post
    There are some retailers who will ship internationally, 4Noggins and Milan Tobacco are two of them. Just be aware that you are responsible for any additional taxes or fees. I don't really know how your government handles that. Some countries permit a certain amount in without extra taxes, some tax everything, and sometimes items can slip through unnoticed.
    I second the recommendation of Milan. An excellent tobacconist that I have the luxury of considering my "local" B&M.

  12. #12

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Lutz View Post
    I second the recommendation of Milan. An excellent tobacconist that I have the luxury of considering my "local" B&M.
    4noggins I can see going through, but Milan TOBACCO would seem to, you know, tell customs inspectors where to look. (Don't get me wrong, I've bought a lot of tobacco from Milan, no complaints!) Maybe they put "Order Fulfillment Department" and the address.

    My sympathies! Sounds like your tobacco situation is simply pitiable. A quick look shows that South Africa is the promised land for the TabakNazis. ("The most progressive tobacco legislation" translates into "most oppressive tobacco taxation and regulation" for you who don't speak TabakNazi. )
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  13. #13

    Young Puffer Fish BLESKOP's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Thanks Jim and Tobias for the sound advice. On enquiring from 4 Noggins it will cost me around $19.20 to import a tin of Peterson. I guess my local tobacconists are cheaper because they order in bulk? At least South Africa is quite a big country. Maybe I must broaden my search for the best tobacconist locally. Who known, one of them might have a hidden treasure....?
    "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs" - Albert Einstein

  14. #14

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    Quote Originally Posted by BLESKOP View Post
    Thanks Jim and Tobias for the sound advice. On enquiring from 4 Noggins it will cost me around $19.20 to import a tin of Peterson. I guess my local tobacconists are cheaper because they order in bulk? At least South Africa is quite a big country. Maybe I must broaden my search for the best tobacconist locally. Who known, one of them might have a hidden treasure....?
    You're paying a lot of postage there for your unit! Order enough to amortize the shipping and handling costs! Doubt if they give free shipping overseas, but even so, your per unit cost goes WAY down with a bigger order, say $100 bucks worth. Since the base cost of that can is $9.99, your paying $10 shipping! If you even bought five cans there (maybe some Royal Yacht, Old Dark Fired, or whatever thrown into mix), then the tobacco cost would be ~$50 and shipping maybe $15. That would work out to $13 per can instead of almost $20. If you got it up to $100, you might be able to cut a deal to deduct the US postage from the international shipping cost, bring it down to maybe $11 a can. (Free shipping at $100!)
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  15. #15

    Full grown Puffer Fish KungFumeta's Avatar


     

    Re: ENVYING PIPE SMOKERS ABROAD

    4noggins Shipping 8 tins to Spain sets me back around 23 dollars. Thats right around 100 bucks worth of tobacco and in my experience from shipping other stuff they are charging actual usps shipping costs so I doubt theyd take the hit and give you free shipping. But buying beyond that amount to further dilute the shipping costs and just plain buy more stuff the risk of getting whacked by customs increases exponentially.
    Still, even with shipping you're right around 14 bucks a tin. Not too bad. Buy 7 tins and a corncob pipe
    "A good cuban cigar shuts the door to the vulgarities of the world" Franz Liszt

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