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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #178 -- February 19, 1995

		Pipes Digest #178 -- February 19, 1995
		     Circulation this issue: 882

Welcome to new members:

	 Ben D. Harper			(???????????????????????????)
	 Bob Chase			(?????????????????)
	 Dennis Linehan			(?????????????????)
	 Bumber				(??????????????????)
	 Ray QQ				(?????????????)
	 Tracy McDonald			(??????????????????)
	 ???				(??????????????????????????????)
	 Walter Flanagan		(????????????)
	 Michael Alexander Tavin Perez	(????????????????????????????)
	 Tom Haynes			(?????????????????????????????)
	 Steve Spak			(??????????????????)
	 Reuben E. Sailor		(????????????????)
	 Jonathan David Walz		(????????????????)
	 Chris Holst			(?????????????????)
	 Mark Pellegrino		(?????????????????)
	 Dusty Smith			(?????????????????????)
	 Mike Zarnott			(???????????????)
	 Russ Margolius			(??????????????????????????)
	 Brock Wienczewski		(?????????????????????????????????????)
	 El Oso Grande			(?????????????????????)
	 Andy Birkhead			(??????????????)
	 Michael Barenys		(??????????????)
	 Douglas Stuart Bogar		(???????????????????????????)
	 Mark Letteri			(???????????????????)
	 Cameron Cardwell		(??????????????????????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????)
	 Dave Hensley			(????????????????????)
	 David Goldstein		(????????????????)
	 JP Chadourne			(????????????????????????????)
	 ???				(????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????)
	 Mathias Brandstetter		(?????????????????????????????????)
	 Brian Butler			(???????????????????????)
	 Jon				(?????????????????????????????)
	 John Graham			(??????????????????????????)
	 Dave Finnie			(?????????????????????????)
	 Steve Nelson			(?????????????????????????)
	 Mark Lautenschlager		(??????????????)
	 Bob Everett			(?????????????????)
	 Gary A. Aminoff		(??????????????????)
	 Chris Fugard			(???????????????????????)
	 Chris Hilliard			(???????????????????????????)
	 Andy Baker			(?????????????????????)
	 John Stafford			(????????????????????????????????)
	 ???				(????????????????????)
	 ???				(???????????????????????)
	 Joe Greenberg			(????????????????)
	 Greg Farley			(???????????????)
	 ???				(??????????????)
	 ???				(??????????????????)

Administrative note: Some astute members have noticed that the
signature was missing from last week's Digest. This was intentional; I
was checking to see if y'all were awake. (Believe that one? :-)
Actually, I just posted the digest before I'd put the sig in. So this
week, you get _two_ Snappy Comebacks, to make up!

And join us now for a civilized smoke as we discuss mysterious boxes,
nasty surprises, Beverly Hills, ways to keep warm, Zig-Zag and Top, home
canning, draft animals, and a German lesson...


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             Help Stop Prohibition -- Keep Tobacco Legal
                        Call -- Write -- Vote
                        Then, Smoke in Peace.

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From: ??????????????????
Subject: Antique Humidor

        Hello again, les amis du cigar (y pipe as well);
        I have recently obtained a ?antique? Dunhill humidor, which i am
trying to date.  Surprisingly, the Dunhill shop in NYC was unable to help,
and indeed, once the salesperson realized I was not going to put down 5 large
for a Dunhill humidor, his attitude, was, well, most un-retail.
       At any rate, I was hoping someone might be able to help me get a date
for this find.
       It is a thurl exterior, exterior dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 4.25 inches.
 The interior is cedar over what is apparently copper sheeting.  the interior
lid is covered in green felt, and has a detatchable copper tray (for what
reason I do not know).  The plate reads "Alfred Dunhill, London", with a
second line underneath in smaller type, " London, New York, Paris"  The
humidifcation device is a long cylinder of ?tin? about the size of a corona
gorda.  There are multiple holes in it, and the center has "Made in India"
written on in, as well as a US patent.
The humidor has a double post clasp, with a lock
       I hope someone out there can give me an idea.  My best guess right now
is mid 1930's
       Happy smoking to all,

Mark Newman

[ Have you tried writing to Dunhill, Mark? -S. ]


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From: ??????????????????? (Neil Murray)
Subject: Hello

OK Steve, so you are going to Washington..... would you try to get a
really good photo for publication in the A&M Gazette?  Please?

Even though we dont have 25,000 subscribers and industry support, we
samller publications need to get by.  I hope Mr. Farr talks to Ben Rapaport
and Tad Gage, I replied to his email and suggested that he contact
them.........apparently he hasn't talked with Ben yet. ha ha I wish him
well, but he hopes to make a living publishing this newsletter.  Oh well.

Next issue of the A&M GAzette looks like early march or mid march as i
have to travel at the end of Feb.  But i will be out in San Diego so i
will be able to Visit with Alijandra M.  Am i lucky or what?

taker care, neil

[ You are lucky, Neil! And we will get some photos. To those attending,
don't forget your cameras either! -S. ]


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From: ????????????????? (andy karp)
Subject: Pipe Experience

s stated in one my earlier posts, last weekend I went out and
bought a Peterson System pipe, a rustic flat-bottomed bent, #306.
Several days later I eagerly filled the bowl with an English blend from
my local tobacconist and lit up, or tried to.  The draw was
exceedingly tight, I thought.  So I made a second attempt at a charring
light, but still no luck.  Thinking this was due to the
peculiar Peterson bit, I tried once more.  Again nothing.  Completely
baffled, I emptied the uncharred tobacco from the bowl and removed
the stem.  Placing my lips around the bowl I began to blow gently
into the airhole in hopes the obstruction would blow out.
Face turning blue, try as I might, no air appeared to be coming through
the airhole. So, gently, I inserted a pipe cleaner through the shank and
into the airhole only to come to a dead end. This was truly a mystery,
or so it seemed.  Now armed with a flashlight I examined the interior of
the blackened bowl: there was the appearance of an airhole, but it was
difficult to discern, especially with my slight case of anstigmatism.
So again I inserted the pipe cleaner, now fully expecting to see its white
furry end popping through thus putting an end to this whole ordeal.
But once more I came up against a wall.  Slowly it dawned on me, embarassing
as it now may seem to confess: Peterson had neglected to bore the whole
*all* the way through!  Obvious as that now may sound it was truly an
epiphany, a validation that, while I might not be the brightest of
men, my pipe smoking technique was not as ragged as I thought.
It however taught me a valuable lesson: regardless of the pipemaker's
reputation, you should always inspect the obvious.  Moreover, this lesson
can also be applied to home purchases, selecting a financial adviser,
or choosing a mate for life.
 
To follow up, the store that sold me the pipe -- a new place called
Liberson's Gourmet International Tobaccos, located at 10143 Riverside Dr.,
Toluca Lake, CA 91602, (818) 985-4310 -- were extremely apologetic and
told me their distributor would have a replacement for me in two week's
time. In addition they gave me a nifty pipe tool to soothe any bad feelings
I might have had.  The store's manager, Beverly, couldn't have been nicer.
 
?????????????? (Andy Karp)
 
"The first smoke tastes good, the second better, the third the best."
- The Art of Pipe Smoking, 1958, Joaquin Verdaguer

[ What a nasty surprise to inflict on someone! Glad you perservered, and
that Liberson's gave such good service. Good luck on your replacement
pipe! -S. ]


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From: ???????????????
Subject: NEW CIGAR CLUB

Hi fellow cigar smokers,

Anyone interested in a brand new Cigar club in Beverly Hills?

Absolutely incredible!! Full bar, card tables, newspapers and magazines from
around the world, big T.V. screen. 
And your own private cedar humidor.

Welcome CLUB HAVANA!!!! 

E Mail me for more info!!  ???????????

[ Tell us more, please! -S. ]


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From: ???????????????
Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #177 -- Febr...

Dear Steve:

Thanks for getting me onto the mailing list.  I'll look forward to reading
with you all.  Perhaps we could have a discussion about where people can and
do enjoy a good cigar (not at home, not at work and not outside at -20
degrees)!!
Best of luck!
Dropsy

[ See the above, Dropsy; any other suggestions? -S. ]


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From: ??????????????????
Subject: Introduction

Dear Steve:
     Thanks for your work on the mailgroup.
     Some musings on issues that have come up in the digests I have
read while lurking on Compuserve.
     I remember that someone (possibly you) mentioned a pyrolytic
graphite pipe, I have one somewhere in a sky blue color.  I believe
I bought it from Iwan C. Ries. It's claim to fame was that it did
not impart any taste or properties to the tobacco, and did not
retain any taste from other tobaccos. If you can get your hands on
one, it should be perfect for a tobacco comparison, no breaking in.
My recollection was that it smoked very hot. 
     The best smoking pipes that I have are a saxophone meerschaum
(rarely smoked) that I purchased directly from a source in Turkey,
a long Butz Chacun with a bone stem, an "ice age" pipe (Ridged
finish looks a bit like the Michelin Man) of a kind I have not seen
anywhere, a Japanese briar, some bent Peterson system pipes that
I brought in Ireland and through the Shannon Airport catalog (much
cheaper than buying them in New York), some Falcons and Kirstens,
and a calabash with a block Meerschaum insert. I must have at least
a hundred pipes, and can afford to let them sit for a few weeks
between smokes. My preferences are danish shapes, usually bent. 
     As for tobaccos I have some 18 year old Balkan Sobranie, a few
cans of Craven, and a lot of older McBaren's dark twist.  The
McBaren's may do for those who want a spun tobacco for aesthetic
reasons. It is a lot sweeter, than Escudo, but a good smoke. I
notice that is becoming almost as expensive as Escudo. 25 years ago
I found a tobacco being closed out at Barney's (a discount store in
Brooklyn Heights that still carries some tobacco and pipes) called
Old King Cole. It was a baked, wine cured Cavendish (Black). I
bought up all I could get, and still have about 3/4 of a pound. One
of the mildest, mildly aromatic tobaccos I have ever found.   Have
a lot of pouches and cans of tobacco that were test marketed, but
never got anywhere, or like Craven, were discontinued, all
purchased at Barney's, usually at 3-4 cans or pouches for a dollar.
Back then when something was being discontinued it was sold at a
deep discount. Big difference from what is happening to Escudo.  
     You were right about Captain Black. It's only advantage is
that you can get it anywhere. Just about any Amphora or Sail is
better, Flying Dutchman was one of my favorite cavendishes when I
was younger. The idea of charging $13 US for a pouch of any Captain
Black borders on the criminal. A much better choice would be some
of the Holt's or Georgetown mixtures. 
     The soapy taste of Escudo, which some have complained about,
I have found in a few Irish tobaccos, usually spun or cake form. 
I have a few different, old tins imported by Russell that have this
same taste, and it is noticeable. You can get used to it.  The
taste in Erinmore flake or cake is much more pronounced, but Escudo
does have a hint of it. I once had a can of Bengal Slices that had
this taste, so it may have something to do with storage or some
fermentation that occurs in cake or spun tobacco.    
     When Harker wrote that you clean a clay by throwing it into
the fire, he meant that they are impossible to clean.  The clay is
so porous, that nothing will help when they get sour. You just
throw them away and get a new one. They were so cheap then that
there was no point in wasting time on them. I have a few
churchwardens that I bought many, many years ago and they all smoke
hot and surprisingly wet.  
     The only place I have ever seen Churchwardens for sale by mail
is through Thompson's, and they were not cheap. They are very
fragile. I got the ones I have from Wally Frank when it still had
stores in Manhattan.
     When I first started smoking, I was shown how to clean a pipe
by a Brooklyn tobacconist. His name was H. Geyer,  and his store
was located near Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn.  I still
smoke the pipes I bought from him, seconds with his name on them. 

*****************************************************************
     
     THE FOLLOWING CAN BE DANGEROUS. IT INVOLVES HOT FLAMMABLE
LIQUID UNDER PRESSURE.  BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING OR GET
HELP FROM SOMEONE WHO DOES.

******************************************************************
     He had a small retort setup with a length of rubber tubing.
The pipe was held in a test tube clamp with the tubing connected to
the pipestem. The retort had a solvent (rum or isopropyl alcohol)
which was heated with an alcohol lamp very, very carefully.  The
fluid would bubble up through the stem into the bowl.  When you
removed the flame from the retort, the fluid would be drawn back
into the retort along with most of the tar and other deposits. You
repeated this until the fluid remained clear. This would be done
after using a reamer to reduce the cake. I was able to duplicate
his equipment.  I have tried it and it works very well. Any
chemistry types would have the equipment and knowledge to do this,
but you have to be very careful about the alcohol lamp, the solvent
you are using, the finish on the pipe and the retort. DON'T SET
YOURSELF ON FIRE OR BLOW YOURSELF UP!!!

     Some addresses for the source list which I have accumulated
over the years follow.  As some of them are old, I am not sure that
they ar still good. However here goes.

Meerschaum pipes:

Istiklal Ceddeis
Bekak Sokak No 12/4
Beyoglu
Istanbul, Turkey

Nurhan Cevahir
Bekak Soka No 1214
Istanbul, Turkey

Cigars: (Cuban)

Tabac Rhein
1 Rue Du Mont Blanc
1201 Geneve Switzerland

Lighters (Repairs):

Colibri
50 Park Lane
Providence, RI 02907
(401) 943-2100

Maruman
61 Woodmont Road
Middleford, CT 06460
(203) 878-5934

Savinelli (Corona)
P O Box 526
1002 Morrisville Parkway
Morrisville, NC 27560
(919)481-0511

Pipes:

Kapp & Peterson
56 Lower O'Connell St
Dublin, Eire

Pipe Dan
13 Vestergarde 145-6
Copenhagen K Denmark
(Danish Freehands)

Tobacco:

Green River Tobacco 
Box 1313
Owensboro, KY 42301
(Unblended tobaccos)

     I seem to be running on, and wandering, sign of getting old,
not enough oxygen going to the brain, or too much free time. BTW I
am a 45 year old tax attorney, don't smoke in the house or office,
and smoke a pipe or cigar on my 45 minute (each way) commute.  I
have been smoking for over 25 years and have smoked at least 100
commercial brands and at least as many house brands, also many
cigar brands. 

(Please consider whether you want to put the cleaning instructions
onto the list, even with the warning.  I would not want anyone
blowing themselves up or setting anything on fire.)

Happy trails,

Samuel Freund

[ Many thanks, Samuel! Does K&P actually sell single pipes to
individuals? -S. ] 


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From: Shawn McKnight <?????????????????????>
Subject: Big Smoke in DC

Hello Steve and fellow pipe (and cigar) smokers,

   I would like to wish you all well at the Dig Smoke in DC coming up.  I
just want to remind you all to visit some of the fine tobacco stores
mentioned in your resource guide that are located in DC.  And of course,
tell us all of your times there.  

   Good luck, and may every smoke be as good as you like.

Shawn McKnight
?????????????????????

[ I'll try to at least hit Georgetown! -S. ]


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From: "Michael A. Kurt" <???????????????????????>
Subject: Retail shops

I was just looking through the resource guide and noticed that some of my 
favorite shops were missing.  I don't know what your policy is on adding 
new dealers but here they are.

Nolan's Tobacco
336 E Front St.
Traverse City, Mi 49684
616/946-2640
Mike Nolan, Owner
Reasonable selection and prices and great, friendly service.

Martha's Vineyard
200 Union ne
Grand Rapids, Mi
Has a small selection, but will special order.  Large wine and beer selection

Mike

[ Added 'em, Mike! We're always happy to hear from members re their
favorite shops (though the Guide is getting a bit unwieldy, and the
distinction between mail-order and walk-in shops is not made as well as
it might be...) -S. ]


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From: ???????????????????????????? (Michael M. Perez)
Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscription request

Hello my name is Mike Perez and I have been smoking cigars and pipes for about
a year now.  I am a second year Criminal Justice major at Illinois State
University.
I am nineteen years old and a male as you may have guessed.
Tastes in music;  ZZ Top, Zepplin, Jim Croce, some Jazz, and many other types
Favorite movie star; Clint Eastwood
Sports teams;  L.A. Dodgers, Uof Michigan, and any soccer team I play on.
Well I hope this lets you all get to know me.  Talk to you soon, Bye.
 --
Michael Alexander Tavin Perez
  ???????????????????????????? "If the shit fits wear it."  The Blues Brothers
"Have you heard?  What's the word?  It's Thunderbird."  ZZ TOP
"What are you going to do, bleed on me?"  Monty Python's  The Holy Grail

[ Thanks, Michael! I didn't know anyone remembered Croce! And I'm sure
some of our members also appreciate the metaphorical signifigance of ZZ
Top :-) -S. ] 


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From: ????????????????
Subject: Thank You

Hello Steve!

Thank you so much for your prompt response--I look forward to being apart of
this list.

To tell you a little about myself, I am a student in Southern California and
I have been smoking cigars semi-regularly(sp?) for about a year--my favorite
to date is Hoyo de Monterey, Excalibur #1 (closely tied with #2).  I have
been recently introduced to pleasures of pipe smoking by my grandfather, who
was an advid pipe smoker for more than 3 decades.  I have not had the
opportunity to experiment with any different blends, as my friend gave me 5
ounces of a local blend for Christmas (he also gave me my first pipe--my
grandfather has provided 3 new pipes from his collection [a Lorenzo Imperia,
Sasieni four dot and a Castello] and of course guidance).  I'm sorry I can't
provide more information on the blend, but I'm just not that experienced yet.

Thanks Again!

Reuben
????????????????


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From: ?????????????????
Subject: pipe making

Dear Steve,
  After receiving the Digest for some time now I thought I would introduce
myself to you and the other subscribers.
  I am 42 years old and have been smoking pipes on and off since I was 15.
 I'm a master engraver by profession (firearms and custom knives).  Other
interests include ham radio (AD5C), sculpture, photography,  and 5-string
banjo.  I'm a member of the Knifemakers Guild and Mensa.  My favorite
tobaccos are Dunhill 965 and C&D's 965 clone (perfect match and $12 a
pound!).
  I recently started making my own briar pipes and am wondering if there are
any Digest subscribers that have similar interests.  My pipes are made of
Grecian and Corsican briar, and the drilling, boring, etc., is done on a
machinist's metal turning lathe.  After turning, a lot of hand filing,
shaping, polishing, and sand blasting is done to create the finished pipe.  I
craft my own tapered drill bits for drilling the tobacco chamber and make
stems from rough castings of Lucite and hard rubber.  I can honestly say that
my pipes are better than 99% of what I see in the tobacco stores.  It is very
satisfying to devote a lot of tedious work to a finely crafted briar, fill it
with 965 and sit back and reap the rewards of a job well done.  
  I would be most interested in corresponding with other folks who make their
own pipes.
  Keep up the excellent job you're doing on the Digest!
                         Warm regards,
                             Sam Alfano

[ Sounds impressive, Sam! I know that there are several other members,
myself included, who have made forays into pipe making, so I'll let them
speak for themselves. I haven't made a pipe for years, but one of these
days, I'll get myself a *real* flex-shaft (as opposed to the Black &
Decker toy I have now) and give it another go. -S. ]


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From: ????????????? (Jan ilien-arulath Tomaszewski kalin-er)
Subject: Re: sad future for pipes????

Jan ilien-arulath Tomaszewski kalin-er (?????????????) wrote:

> Ruta Maya, which is a cigar/coffee store here in Austin, is on the net 
> with a web page. The propriator, Scott H. is a wonderful individual and 

Oops. Campbell is Scott's last name.

> will soon begin stocking pipes. His selection of cigars is good, but due 
> to back-order problems of all cigar makers, the orders may take a while 
> to fill. 
> 	Scott delivers anywhere in the world. I recently sent a Zippo 
> pipe lighter to our poor blighted friend Christopher in Cambridge using 
> Scott and Ruta Maya Tobacco. He didn't have anything in stock, but 
> ordered it there on the spot, and got the address for mailing.

The web-page is at http://www.onr.com/maya.html. They havent got a good 
ordering system up for credit cards yet, but that is being set up as we 
speak.
	For those of you overseas, you might want to get together with a 
group of your countrymen and put together a co-op. I know that shipping 
can be a hassle, as it cost me $27 just to ship one item. But the 
shipping costs are near the same for one item, or for 30 items. If all 
the English, and the Germans, etc. got together, I am sure an arrangement 
could be made to spread the shipping costs around to a number of people.

If you would rather fax an order, that number is 800/510-CUBA (or 
800/510-2822, for those who don't use a voice machine often...)

Cheers,
Skizyx

Disclamer: I have no financial interest in this venture, I just want to 
see one of the smaller operatis stay afloat in America's increasingly 
anti-tobacco environment.

[ Thanks, Skizyx! I have checked out Ruta Maya's Web page, and while it's
a good effort, I still feel that some enterprising mail-order vendor
(particularly of pipes) could use the medium much more effectively. -S. ]


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From: ?????????????????
Subject: Oriental Leaf

Here is an interview of Barry Levin by Theodore Justin Gage. It was
originally published in The Compleat Smoker, and later, I stole it from The
Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  Christopher D. Walborn              ~  ~          
  ?????????????????               ~    ~   ~        
                                         ~  ~       
           ~  ~                            ~        
        ~   ~    ~                         U______  
       ~  ~                                         
        ~                   A man and his pipe are  
  ______U                    comrades inseparable.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

         --------------------B E G I N---------------------

            The Subtleties of Classic Oriental Leaf
            ---------------------------------------

Once upon a time, it was relatively easy for the "average" pipe smoker to
find blends that employed particular varieties of tobacco. Although the
categories of tobacco--Burley, Virginia, Turkish, Latakia, Perique--are few
in number, there are many sub-categories.

The difference between varieties of tobacco is sometimes subtle, but more
often obvious. For example, Turkish leaf has more than two dozen varieties,
each with its own particular flavor and character. I have had the extreme
good fortune of obtaining and sampling a number of the individual tobaccos
used to make up blends.

Xanthi Turkish is distinctly different from Yenidje or Smyrna. Today, for
many reasons, such varieties are lumped together under a generic "Turkish"
label. Of course, if quality tobaccos are used, the combination is delicious.
But the, um, subtleties can be lost.

The subtleties are not only inherent to specific varieties. The same leaf
seed, grown in particular regions will have different characteristics.
Tobacco is strongly influenced by soil, climate and growing conditions.
Anyone who has studied cigar leaf knows this. Cuban seed nurtured in the
Cuba's Vuelta Abajo tastes markedly different from the same seed grown in the
Dominican Republic. Not necessarily better or worse, but different.

The best comparison I can make is to certain spirits, such as cognac or
brandy. Each label has its own character, based on factors such as length of
aging, type of barrels used, processing, and, of course, the varietal grapes
used in the blend. the slightest change in the type of grape used will change
the character of the blend. Such subtleties are lost on the masses, but to
the connoisseur, the difference is like night and day.

The same is true for tobaccos. In some of my reviews, I have discussed how
particular types of Virginia tobaccos--zesty lemon, fragrant orange, sweet
red or rich stoved--affect the character of various Personal Reserve blends.
Barry Levin has taken his obsession with fine varietal tobaccos to another
level, seeking out fine varieties of many types of tobacco.

Frankly, I never thought I would see the day when a tobacco blender would
once again incorporate individual oriental leaf to create exciting new
blends. But the day has arrived, and Barry is the blender.

Finding these specal varietal tobaccos isn't easy, but they are available in
small quantities to the persistent tobacco buyer. Such special varieties are
expensive, but they can be used to create unique blends that the connoisser
will gladly pay for. The same type of person who will pay $150 for a bottle
of the finest cognac is the same kind of person who would gladly pay $100 for
a pound of rare tobacco. Quality, not quantity, is what the connoisseur
seeks.

I have heard many veteran pipe smokers lament the dear departed days when one
could find blends incorporating particular tobaccos. They will pay a king's
ransom for tins of vintage tobaccos with both the age and character they
seek.

I'm not sure how he has done it--Barry is appropriately coy when it comes to
divulging his sources. But the end product tells the whole story: somehow, he
has done it.

Heman Lane, the master of tobacco and founder of Lane Limited, traveled the
world to seek out the most special oriental leaf for his blends. Over the
years, those blends have changed largely because the quality and the
character of the tobacco have changed.

Barry has shared some of his thoughts and observations with me, and I'm
pleased to pass them on to you. I hope that you, like me, will discover some
new facts and obtain greater enjoyment out of your pipe. The following is an
interview with Barry, who to my mind, is one of today's leading experts in
tobacco blend design.

TG:  What trends have you seen in availability of base oriental leaf?

BL:  The subject of oriental tobacco has, over the years, become very    
     muddled. This is mostly because changes in the business have 
     dictated that most small growers in a variety of regions band 
     together in co-operatives, mixing their leaf into homogenized 
     blends.

     As recently as 25 years ago, this was not the case. Individual leaf
           
     types were generally available, affording blenders a great variety  
     of characteristics with which to create their unique blends. Little  
     by little, these distinction became muddied, with even the names of  
     each tobacco becoming confused by taking traditional species' names  
     and broadening their usage. Mixing growing regions, leaf types and  
     mountain areas has further confused the issue.

TG:  I assume someone is growing the individual leaf used to create  
     generic Turkish tobacco. Can you elaborate on some of the  
     individual traits of oriental leaf?

BL:  The five basic areas in which oriental leaf is grown are Turkey,  
     Greece, Macedonia/Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Russia. Today Turkey and  
     Greece represent the prime producing regions. From Greece, we have  
     three basic types of leaf with multiple variations--Basma, Katerini  
     and Bashi Bagli.
 
     Basma tobacco is exclusively Greek, with small leaves and fine  
     veins. It is very sweet and burns extremely well. The major  
     varieties of Basma include Xanthi, Djebel, Mahalla, Djubek, Kavella  
     and Yenidje. Bashi Bagli includes Trebizond, a strong and sweet  
     leaf with little or no aroma. Katerini is Samsoun seed grown in  
     Greece, similar in quality to the Basmas. By the way, when Samsoun  
     seed is grown in Greece it's called Katerini and when grown in  
     Russia, it's called Sukhum.

TG:  I once did an article on Russian tobacco--that country is one of  
     the world's largest tobacco producers, a tradition dating back to  
     Peter the Great. Anyway, back to oriental leaf.

BL:  From Turkey, we have Smyrna, the predominant oriental crop. It's  
     very sweet and lightly aromatic. Samsoun is one of the finest  
     oriental leaves in the world when grown in Turkey's Black Sea area.  
     Baffra, a variety of Samsoun, is more pungent and not quite as  
     refined.
 
     Trebizond is very strong and very aromatic, and is principally used  
     for domestic Turkish consumption. Russia produces its variety of  
     Samsoun seed and it's an extremely prized, hard-to-find oriental.

TG:  I know that Latakia is something of a mystery to people. Can you  
     explain how it's made and what leaf is used?

BL:  When Turkish tobaccos are cured over aromatic smoke, they become  
     Latakia. The woods and herbs used for smoking the leaf have a  
     considerable influence on the ultimate flavor. Through 1960, most  
     Latakia came from Syria, but production was then banned due to the  
     severe depletion of the oak forests that provided the wood.
 
     Most production shifted to Cyprus, an island off Greece. Cyprian  
     Latakia is very fine, but due to the different woods and leaf used,  
     the flavor is very different than Syrian Latakia, as any veteran  
     smoker can tell you.
 
     Most Cyprian Latakia is made from Smyrna seed grown in Cyprus,  
     called Yellow Cyprus, smoked over mountain shrubs, pine trees or  
     myrtle. Since 1960, the Syrian forest have recovered somewhat and  
     Syrian Latakia is once again being produced--in very limited  
     quantities. This is an exciting development indeed.
 
     Syrian Latakia is made from a diffrent leaf called Shekk el bint,  
     and is smoked over oak and herbs. Syrian Latakia is 'woodier' than  
     Cyprian, both because of the smoking methods as well as the leaf  
     type, which is more heavily stemmed. Some smokers also find it  
     sweeter and slightly higher in nicotine content.

TG:  Bottom line--what does all this mean for your product line?

BL:  Simply put, it means that as a limited production, high-end  
     blender, LPI can find these rare and interesting varieties and  
     incorporate them into special blends. We have some incredible new  
     blends planned through 1995. I hope pipe smokers are as excited  
     about this prospect as I am.
                          ---------------------

Oriental Tobaccos: A Primer (*--Barry Levin's choice for refined balance  
     in flavor, aroma and burning qualities. Others Must be mixed  
     together for balance.)

Greek (Basma Type):
-Xanthi--Many variations from region. Aromatic and sweet.*
-Djebel--Mountain grown. Lighter aroma similar to Xanthi.*
-Mahalla--Sweet taste with minimal aroma.
-Djubek--Macendonian. Very aromatic and sweet.
-Kavalla--Medium Basma. Very aromatic.
-Yenidje--Strong taste. No aroma.
-Katerini--Greek Samsoun. Delicate, even burning properties.*

Turkish:
-Smyrna--Very sweet and lightly aromatic.*
-Samsoun--Top grade, fine, mellow leaf.*

Russian:
-Sukhum--One of the finest orientals. Period.*

Latakia:
-Cyprian--Made from Cyprus-grown Smyrna seed smoked over shrubs, pine or  
     myrtle.
-Syrian--made from Shekk el bint leaf and smoked over oak and herbs.*
         -----------------------E N D------------------------

[ Once again, Christopher, thanks for making this available to the
Digest! -S. ] 


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From: ????????????????????? (Viktor Nehring)
Subject: My So-called Tobacco Life

Steve:  
	Thank you for adding me to the list.  I really enjoy the Digest.
As a Federal employee, reading the Digest is the only smoking I can do
inside.  I am 30 year old cigar newbie and a pipe wanna-be-newbie.  I've
gotten some good info from some past issues.  Since newcomers are
encouraged to tell their tobacco-life story, here's mine.
	I've never smoked cigarettes.  My generation was brought up being
told (brainwashed?) that "smoking is bad for you."  Taking this to heart
one day after church, I told one of the elderly folks of the
congregation, "My mother says that you shouldn't smoke, because smoking's
bad for you."  My mother practically fainted.  The kindly old man said,
"You know, you're right.  I won't smoke anymore."  I never saw him smoke
again.  He even went out of his way a few Sundays later to show me his
lack of cigarettes.  (I tend to think, though, that he smoked elsewhere
behind my back when I wasn't looking.)  I was eight years old.
	About eight years later, our pastor (new church cuz we moved) and
his wife had a baby.  He brought cigars to softball practice.  He even
let the young one -- me -- have one.  (It's OK.  We're Protestants :-) .)
I smoked about 1/4 of the ghastly thing and was sick for three days.
Whether or not there was a causal effect, I dunno, but the associative
effect lingered....
	Until Christmas 1993.  We were over at some of the in- laws'
house.  He's a southern gent.  After dinner, he invited me and my brother
outside.  We sat down and he gave us all smokes.  Cheapies.  25 cent-ers.
You know the kind.  So, between a few coughs, we smoked 'em.  Right in
front of God and everybody.  "Honey!"  his wife called, "Are you-all
smoking out there?"  Short pause.  "Yeh," he said, and lit up another.
	I thought this pretty cool.
	So I went out to the local five and dime and perused the tobacco
shelves.  There sure were a lot of cigars to choose from.  Too many.  So
to make it easy, I just chose one of the Dutch Masters packages.  After
all, I could still recall their TV commercial from my youth.  Who says
advertising doesn't work?
	(Digression: Around this time, I started noticing all the
anti-smoking "information" out there.  "Was all of this stuff true," I
wondered?  I better look into it.  Even before I took up cigars, I had
kinda sorta followed the issue.  Rush Limbaugh would bring it up.  Dennis
Prager -- an LA talk show host now with a syndicated TV show -- would
talk about it.  I would half-listen.  After all, who cares if "they" ban
smoking?  I don't smoke.
	Well, now _my_ ox was being gored.  I decided to look into the
issue further. I watched C-Span, read every article I could, and listened
more closely to the radio when the issue came up.  Based upon the
evidence, I concluded that while second hand smoke is not harmless, it
certainly is not as harmful as the EPA wants us to believe, as the FDA
wants us to believe and as nearly every major city now wants us to
believe.  I think I've figured it out the reasoning: When guns and
smoking are outlawed, only outlaws will have smoking guns.)
	I have since moved up a bit.  I subscribed to CA.  I bought
Hacker's book.  I pulled down internet files.  I even smoked a few
cigars!  My favorites so far are Macanudo Prince Philip (well, the
seconds anyway) and Licenciado Toros (I was lucky enough to get a box at
the right time).  I have several Tupperdors and a JR lucite humidor which
works fine.  I've stuffed Onyx, Chevere, Five Star seconds (from JR), and
some other JR cheapies into them.  The Five Star seconds are from the
same company that makes Casa Blanca, Licenciados, etc.  They are pretty
good.  One of them tasted like a pencil, though.  The Onyx are sweet and
look marvelous.  The Chevere taste a lot like Macanudos.  I have one more
contraband stick that I am saving for a special occasion.
	My next project is to make my own humidor.
	I am interested in pipe smoking as this is a bit more aromatic.
And mebbe a bit more dignified.  I bought a corn cob pipe and some
tobacco and have had a few smokes.  It's OK.  I think I need a better
blend and the pipe tool gadget thing.  I am open to suggestions from
Digest readers as to which starter pipe to buy.  (Or if they have a good
starter pipe to sell.)  So, anyone: Feel free to email me.
	Thanks for the opportunity, Steve, and keep up the good 
work.
	And this _is_ the short version. :-)

Viktor Nehring -- ?????????????????????

[ Well, Viktor, you can't go too far wrong with a nice GBD, or a Nording,
if you like Danish freehands. Petersons are good, but you have to like
the bit system, which I do. Re tools, the last time I bought one, GBD
made the best tamper/reamer/knife combination. -S. ]


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From: ????????????????
Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscri...

Hey,
 I don't know if i am writing to the right place, i am just writing in
responce to the initial welcome letter...  Well i am mainly a cigar smoker..
My favorite is Ashton's.. nice and mild..
Dave


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From: Mark Lathem <??????????????????>
Subject: Pipe World

I thought I'd share a discovery that should probably find a place in 
the Resource Guide:  "Pipe World" in Austin, Texas.  While it is 
located in a mall (ick), and while it does carry the obligatory "men's
gift items" (again, ick) it does carry a nice selection of fine pipes
and tobaccos.  They had a good selection of Petersons, Savinellis,
Comoys, etc., and several beautiful Danish freehands.  They also carry
some estate pipes and a good selection of briar churchwardens by various
manufacturers (one of these will be mine soon, I'm sure <g>).  Their
tobacco selection is more than adequate, including most of the famous
factory blends.  They also carry their own house blends (an friend of 
mine swears by "Texas Pride"--"That's what us cowboys smoke," says he).  
They *seem* to have a good cigar selection, but you could put what I 
know about cigars in a thimble and still have room for your thumb.  
They ship anywhere, and they are nice folks.  Give 'em a call at 
(512) 451-3713 or (800) 880-4438, or drop by in person at:
   
Pipe World
2160 Highland Mall
Austin, TX  78752
   
     -= Mark Lathem  -=-  ??????????????????  -=-  ?????????????????? =-
"Like me, this pipe so fragrant burning is made of naught but earth and clay".

[ Thanks, Mark! First reco we've gotten for an Austin shop. -S. ]


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From: Steve Masticola (????????????????????????)
Re: Phone conversation with Craig Tarler of Cornell & Diehl

Last week, I learned through Ray Bromley that Craig Tarler, of Cornell
and Diehl, wanted me to give him a call. He'd been trying to get in
contact with me and hadn't been successful (I'd moved last June, and had
neglected to pass on my new address.) Since he had a lot of interesting
things to say, I'll try to pass them on here.

I apparently caught Craig coming out of the shower, but he was happy to
shoot the breeze. Apparently, he'd wanted to get back issues of the
Digest, and although I'd have been glad to provide them, it turned out
that another member had spared me the trouble! (Thanks, Steve!)

He said, regarding his Dunhill 965 duplicate, that a few customers
thought the original smoked sweeter. This he attributed to glycerol:
"everyone uses it," said he, but his duplicate contained nothing but
tobacco. (As an aside, I wonder if the "soapy" taste in Erinmore Flake
[and other tobaccos] mightn't be due to a heavy dose of glycerol?)

I ordered a pound of vanilla Cavendish, and also wanted a carton of Swan
Vesta matches. Although he was too low on the Vestas to fill that part of
the order, he did send me two boxes -- and also some _large_ samples of
his duplicate 965 and Craven's mixtures! (Both of which I tried the night
I received them; most enjoyable!)

One question I'd been meaning to ask Craig (and the group) was how to
cellar bulk tobacco. I've been buying up tinned tobak, but it's very
expensive doing it that way. I'm looking for a way to buy in bulk and tin
my own. Craig's answer was not encouraging. His best suggestion was to
either freeze it, or bag it in heavy bags, or to use wire-bail jars. He
knew of no economical way to vacuum-seal tobacco, and told me that he'd
lost hundreds of pounds of tobacco to mold in a too-humid garage last
summer. He also repeated that the commercial tinned tobak is preserved
with glycerol; I don't think I'd want to do this. So if any member has
successfully tinned their own tobacco, I'd appreciate hearing about the
methodology!

Also of interest to New Jersey residents: Craig informs me that John
David, an excellent pipe shop which was unceremoniously booted out of
Quakerbridge Mall, is now open for business in Edison! I'll pass along
their address/phone when I can find where the note went. :-)

Craig tells me that he's not currently on the Net (it's a toll call from
where he lives :-( However, he hopes to have access within one month, and
can answer a lot of members' questions when he gets online. I'm looking
forward to it.

BTW, Craig is not paying me to say this (though the bribe of free samples
helped :-) I'm just a satisfied, if irregular, customer.

					Smoke in peace,
					~\U Steve.


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From: ????????????????
Subject: EPA article

Dear Steve -

I have finally completed my article on the EPA, and here it is.  The piece is
a bit longer than I anticipated, so I hope you won't mind what it'll do to
the size of this week's digest.

[ Administrativa deleted; Steve requests that this article be
circulated to other interested parties on the Web and Usenet. -S. ]

You'll notice by my "author's note" there'll be a 2nd article on the
subject.  As I was working on this thing it became obvious that the
issue is way too big for me to have given it adequate coverage in a
single piece.  The other article will look at other stuff pertaining
to the EPA, and will also look at the bigger picture of the
anti-smoking movement.  I'll upload it to you whenever it's done.  BTW
- I'd like to thank Neil Murray for once again giving me the green
light on passing this along to you.  I thought it was especially
gracious for him to do so since he knew that the Digest folk would see
it before it appeared in the A & M Gazette - the publication it was
originally written for.  Neil's a great guy, and I think we're lucky
to have him on our side.

Another BTW - I sent advance copies of this article directly to some of our
Pipes Group members.  The article went through some revisions since then, so
for those of you who got it by individual e-mail please note that there are
changes to what you originally received.  Also - our foreign Digest
subscribers should take an interest in the contents of this piece.  The use
of ETS as a pretext for smoking bans and manipulating public opinion is a worl
dwide phenomenon, and the goings-on over ETS in the U.S. shed light on what's
propelling the anti-smoking agenda everywhere else.

Before I sign off here, I just wanted to let you know the sitch with
Kathy Levin.  My friend Jerry Lustig talked with here about a week ago
& found out that she's moving back to Vermont.  This isn't supposed to
happen until May or June, though, so apparently she's still in
California.  And the good news is that she's NOT quitting the business
- which is great news to me since I only recently discovered how
wonderful her M cClelland Private Label tobaccos are!

Anyway, thanks for giving me the space for my article.  Bis spaeter!

Best Regards,

Steve J. (Briar Man)

P.S.  "Ruhig" heisst "peaceful" auf Englisch.  Ihre Segen auf Deutsch ist "Rau
chen in Ruhe".  So endet diese Duetsch Aufgabe.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- -- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---


ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE

Part 1:  EPA on Trial

By Stephen Johnson

Author's note:  When I first thought about writing on the subject of the ETS
controversy I intended to concentrate on the EPA's 1993 report on ETS.  In
the course of my research, however, it became apparent that the content of
the documentary material debunking the ETS myth demanded a broader
examination of the issue.  Two men in particular can be credited with
bringing much important information to light - Congressman Thomas J. Bliley,
Jr. and health researcher Gary Huber, M.D.  Both Rep. Bliley and Dr. Huber
have been highly critical of the EPA report.  Their investigations, however,
have gone far beyond the EPA and into the workings of the anti-smoking
movement itself.  While that aspect of their work is beyond the scope of this
article, it will be covered in the second article of this two-part series on
ETS.                
The history of tobacco is also the history of anti-smoking movements.  While
such crusades are nothing new, the current attempt to create a smoke-free
society relies heavily on an unprecedented strategy.  That strategy has
turned smoking into arguably the most emotionally charged issue in public
health today.  Prior to the 1980s all efforts to curb tobacco use relied on
arguments pertaining to the health risks imposed on the smoker only.  Smokers
today, however, face the effects of a strategic shift towards the molding of
behaviour through a well-orchestrated campaign to alter the attitudes of
society at large. 
The present-day war on smoking has its roots in the first report on smoking an
d health, issued in 1964 by then-Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry.  While
health activists in the 1960s and '70s became increasingly involved with the
anti-tobacco agenda, they were a small minority with almost no influence on
public policy. Things, however, were about to change.  The current
anti-smoking movement started gaining serious power and momentum with the
appointment of C. Everett Koop as Surgeon General in 1980.  From the
beginning of his tenure Koop made it clear that he would vigorously pursue
the war on tobacco, and the "smoke-free society" agenda became official
government policy.  Under Koop's leadership the anti-smoking movement began
shifting its attention to what has become the most powerful weapon in its
arsenal.

Political Science

In the early 1980s researchers began reporting findings which suggested that
nonsmokers' health is at risk by being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke
(ETS).  Koop quickly seized on these findings and began using ETS to do what
he, and his activist allies had dearly wanted to do for a long time - turn
smoking into an anti-social (and ultimately criminal) activity.   Prior to
the emergence of the ETS issue the anti-smoking movement was faced with the
fact that its efforts to curb tobacco use had largely failed.  Although
smoking declined somewhat after the 1964 Surgeon General's report, many
people still smoked.  Furthermore, the nonsmoking majority was generally
either tolerant or apathetic towards smokers.  The purported threat posed by
ETS, however gave anti-smokers the opportunity to wage an unprecedented war
on smoking by manipulating public sentiment.  The manipulative nature of this
campaign was manifested early on by the labeling of the ETS phenomenon as
"passive smoking".  The drive was on to turn nonsmokers actively against
smoking, and thereby create overwhelming support for government intervention.

Throughout the '80s increasing attention was focused on ETS research.
 Findings which supported the anti-tobacco agenda were highly publicized,
while the public was left in the dark concerning the significant amount of
data which refuted the anti-smokers' claims.  The official stranglehold on
information was further strengthened in 1986 when the National Academy of
Science and the Surgeon General's office issued a report which appeared to
confirm the belief that ETS poses a threat to the health of  nonsmokers.
 This report was a major boost to the anti-smoking cause, which had already
been scoring successes with local smoking bans all across the country.  While
it provided additional impetus to the already growing amount of anti-smoking
legislation on the city and county level, the report also set the stage for
the next major player to become involved in the ETS controversy.

By 1990 the anti-smoking movement had made significant inroads in American
society.  Not only was anti-tobacco legislation on the rise, but public
attitudes towards smoking were becoming more hostile, and a growing number of
businesses were engaged in creating smoke-free workplaces on their own
initiative.  The activists, however, had their eyes on a much bigger
objective - nothing less than intervention by the Federal government in the
ETS "crisis".  In May of 1987 several anti-smoking groups petitioned the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to institute an
emergency temporary standard which would impose a total nationwide ban on
smoking in the workplace.  OSHA denied the petition, stating that
insufficient data existed to justify such a sweeping measure.  Over the next
four years several appeals of this decision were made, the denial of which
frustrated the efforts of those groups in their attempt to bring about the
involvement of OSHA in the pursuit of their agenda.  Less than two years
after the last appeal was denied the anti-smoking movement was to have
greater success with another Federal agency.

On January 7, 1993 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its
much-awaited report on ETS.  The report was unveiled at a heavily publicized
press conference, an event which had been built up by prior leaks to the
media by the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services.  The EPA
officially announced that it had classed ETS as a "Group A" (known human)
carcinogen, including an estimate of approximately 3,000 deaths in the U.S.
each year from lung cancer due to ETS.  Almost immediately after the report's
release the EPA came under critical fire by researchers, members of the
press, the Government Accounting Office, and two members of congress -
Representatives John Dingell (D. - Michigan) and Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R. -
Virginia).  Criticisms notwithstanding, the EPA report triggered a wave of
smoking bans at all levels of government, and in the private sector, with a
momentum which has continued virtually unabated.  On June 22, 1993 the
tobacco industry filed a lawsuit against the EPA to nullify its report.  The
case has been accepted by the Federal court.  When it is finally heard not
only will the EPA be on trial, but the entire ETS controversy itself -
perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of the twentieth century. 
Fudging Facts

Let us now examine the EPA's report on ETS.  Of the 30 ETS studies cited in
the report 11 were done in the United States, the other 19 having been done
in foreign countries.  Out of the 30 studies only 4 showed a statistically
significant association between ETS and lung cancer in nonsmokers.  Those 4
studies were all done in foreign countries - not one of the U.S. studies
demonstrated any significant risk associated with the exposure of nonsmokers
to ETS.  The EPA has called the research "exhaustive", yet the numbers of
subjects in the studies suggests otherwise.  The smallest study used 19
subjects, the largest used 420, with 23 of the 30 studies using under 100
subjects - hardly "exhaustive" by epidemiological standards.  How, then, did
the EPA manage to come to its conclusion concerning the "Group A" status of
ETS?

The answer to that question takes us to the heart of the ETS issue, for the
flaws in the EPA report mirror the very things which throw the validity of
the anti-smokers' claims about ETS into doubt.  Taken at face value, it would
appear that the weight of the evidence in the EPA report would be against the
argument that ETS is a health risk.  The EPA, however came to its very
different conclusion by using a highly controversial technique called
meta-analysis.  Meta-analysis is basically the pooling of data  for
statistical evaluation.  The inherent problems with this method are that
important variables can be overlooked, and uncertainties increase.  The
uncertainty factor was reflected by the EPA's lowering of the confidence
interval applied to its analysis from the standard 95% to 90% - in effect
doubling the chance of error.  A reading of the actual report is a
mind-boggling exercise in suppositions, assumptions and technical jargon.  By
themselves these things would strongly suggest there is truth to the criticism
 leveled against the EPA that the Agency has fudged the facts to fit a
predetermined conclusion.  There is, however, much more to support the view
that the EPA has engaged in an agenda-driven misuse of science.

In November of 1992 a major ETS study by R. C. Brownson, et al. was
published.  Sponsored in part by the National Cancer Institute, this study is
the largest of its kind, with 689 subjects.  The Brownson study concluded
that there is no statistically significant link between ETS, lung cancer in
nonsmokers and respiratory diseases in children.  The EPA did not include
this study in its report, the excuse being that the data wasn't available in
time for its inclusion in the ETS risk assessment.  Given the significance of
the Brownson study one can only wonder why the EPA was so eager to bring its
work on ETS to a conclusion, rather than allow more time for this new developm
ent.  The answer lies in the Brownson study itself.  The study is so large in
comparison with the other studies used by the EPA that even with their use of
meta-analysis the Brownson data would have invalidated their findings on ETS.
 The failure to include the Brownson study is bad enough, but if one looks at
the ETS studies that were used by the EPA the situation becomes even more
troubling.

There are two problems common to all of the studies cited in the EPA report.
 The first is that these studies were done by having the subjects fill out
questionnaires, producing what is known in research as anecdotal data.
 Unlike clinical trials, which are conducted under strict scientific
procedures, anecdotal studies rely on the truthfulness of the responses
gathered from their participants.  This leaves the ETS studies open to
question:  How many of the nonsmokers in these studies were actually
never-smokers as opposed to former smokers?  Were some of these people
actually smokers who were lying about their status as nonsmokers?  Were the
reports by nonsmoking participants on their exposure to ETS quantified by
measuring exposure levels, or were they subjective responses?  In light of
these questions an examination of the ETS studies cited by the EPA shows the
body of health research on ETS to be remarkably inconsistent, and often
sloppy - illustrating why anecdotal data is viewed as unreliable by most
researchers.

The second problem with the ETS studies cited in the EPA report is that there
are over 20 co-confounding variables significant to the development of lung
cancer.  The problem specifically is that all of the studies failed to take
even half of these variables into account (in fact there has yet to be an ETS
study that includes all significant variables).  Add to this the inherent
problems with the anecdotal nature of these studies, and we are faced with
the irony that there is to date not one ETS study in existence which can be
considered scientifically sound.  This casts serious doubt on the case for
making any causal connections between ETS and lung cancer in nonsmokers, even
in studies which show the risk to be statistically insignificant.  The EPA,
however, has taken a different view, relying on political expedience rather
than good science.  There is another aspect to ETS research which provides fur
ther evidence of this.

A Question of Bias

Scientific integrity depends on a number of things, such as strict adherence
to scientific method, and the neutrality of the researcher.  When the
methodology is faulty, or the researcher has a bias in his/her field of
study, the integrity of the end product is compromised.  Two examples of this
can be found among the studies cited by the EPA, both coming from the pool of
4 studies which showed a statistically significant association between ETS
and lung cancer.

First we'll look at the study which was conducted in Greece by
Trichopoulos, et al. from 1978 to 1980.  The results were published in
'83.  The study was prompted by the fact that Trichopoulos was married
to a smoker. He detested his wife's smoking, and after several
unsuccessful attempts to make her quit he decided he would try again
by proving that ETS is harmful to nonsmokers.
 He and his colleagues conducted their ETS study, which concluded that
there is an increased risk of lung cancer among nonsmokers who are
married to smokers.  What is remarkable about this study is that
Trichopoulos had a decided anti-smoking bias which he revealed even
before the research was done.  This study cannot therefore be regarded
as credible, yet the EPA was willing to include it in its ETS report.

The other study in question was conducted in Japan from 1965 to 1981
by Hirayama, et al.  The Hirayama study was published in '84, and,
like the Trichopoulos study, examined the health effects of ETS on the
nonsmoking spouses of smokers.  The subjects in the Hirayama study
were taken from Tokyo and surrounding areas.  Virtually ignored was
the fact that most of the smokers were "blue collar" workers who lived
in metropolitan Tokyo, whereas the majority of married nonsmoking
couples lived in the suburbs.  Tokyo is infamous for its severe air
pollution, with residents of suburban areas being subjected to much
lower exposure levels than those living in the city proper - a
significant variable that was somehow overlooked by the Hirayama
study.  The EPA relied heavily on this highly controversial study
early in the risk assessment process.  After it received devastating
criticism during a draft review of the EPA report the Hirayama study
was dropped, only to be picked up again for the final version of the
report.  While in comparison with the Trichopoulos study the
possibility of anti-smoking bias is less apparent, there are grounds
to be suspicious - Hirayama has denied repeated requests that he turn
over his raw data for independent evaluation.

The EPA designed a multi-tier system for classifying the source studies
according to their degree of value to the risk assessment process, tier-1
studies ranking highest.  The Trichopoulos study was classed tier-3, the
Hirayama study tier-4.  The rather low ranking of both of these studies
betrays the importance which the EPA placed on them in determining the
carcinogenicity of ETS.  The truth is they should never have been included in
the EPA's risk assessment.  That the EPA not only included them anyway, but
gave them so much weight in determining the outcome of the ETS report,
indicates just how untroubled the Agency was on matters of scientific
honesty.   

Stacking the Deck

While the ETS report itself is sufficient to raise serious concerns
about the EPA's misuse of science, still greater concerns are raised
by the behind-the-scenes machinations which took place during the
review process.  The review was conducted by an ostensibly
"independent" panel known as the Science Advisory Board (SAB).  The
EPA Advisory Committee Charter of November 6, 1987 states: "The EPA
Science Advisory Board is intended to serve as an independent review
body composed of impartial experts from outside the Agency.  Its
function is to ensure Agency accountability and integrity in the use
of science."  The SAB that was finally formed to review the ETS risk
assessment, however was a betrayal of the very spirit of the charter
which created it.

The makeup of the SAB is key to understanding the extent to which it
compromised the concept of independent review.  The SAB panel members were
selected by EPA staff member Dr. Steven Bayard, with assistance from fellow
EPA employees Robert Axelrad and James Repace.  Bayard and Repace are
well-known as anti-smoking activists, and have used their positions within
the EPA to further the anti-smoking agenda.   Their involvement therefore had
a definitely negative impact on the independence of the SAB.  The lack of
balance in the panel is highlighted by the fact that none of the candidates
for the SAB suggested by the tobacco industry were selected, while 3 of 6
candidates suggested by anti-smoking organizations were appointed to the
panel.  One of those selected was Dr. David Burns, a longtime anti-smoking
activist who has professed his commitment to "see smoking behavior disappear
from society."  Besides the 3 above-mentioned appointees there were other
panel members who are on record as having a bias towards the anti-smoking
side of the issue.  The makeup of the SAB demonstrated a clear conflict of
interest which defeated any idea of objectivity.

The alarming situation with the SAB was exacerbated by the fact that
no effort s were made to redress this stacking of the deck in favor of
the anti-smoking position.  The EPA's Administrator at the time,
William Reilly, flip-flopped between making assurances about the SAB
that were never honored and justifying decisions which were contrary
to maintaining objectivity in the review process.  The SAB's chairman,
Dr. Lippmann, while appearing to take a more reasonable position on
ETS, nevertheless made often contradictory public statements, and
seemed primarily concerned with avoiding anything which might appear
as bias towards the tobacco industry.  Under the circumstances it
would have been best to reform the SAB with a new panel, but such a
move was never proposed by the two men who had the authority to check
the abuses taking place.

Board Games

The conduct of the SAB during the review process is characterized by
some remarkable irregularities.  For example, most SAB reviews are
conducted in such a way that a free debate of all opposing scientific
opinions is allowed to take place.  At the first SAB hearing on
December 4-5, 1990, however, things were quite different.  The typical
atmosphere of open discussion had been replaced with a rigid agenda
which allowed anti-smoking representatives twice the time that was
allotted to scientists who were critical of the ETS risk assessment,
some of whom were denied even the chance to speak.  Also, the normal
question-and-answer period was conspicuous by its absence.  Yet in
spite of the one-sided debate which took place, a number of the
panelists expressed reservations concerning the validity of the
science being used.  During the SAB Executive Committee meeting of
April, 1991 it became clear that the panel was uneasy with the
possibility it would have to reject the EPA's risk assessment based on
its evaluations.  Rather than doing what was scientifically proper,
they instead endorsed the "Group A" classification of ETS and
recommended that the EPA staff extrapolate data from active smoking to
strengthen the case against ETS - in effect making the facts fit the
conclusion.  The subversion of scientific integrity by politics was
further demonstrated when the panel not only failed to point out that
the EPA ignored its own Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, but
also recommended the guidelines be changed because the SAB had
difficulty in applying them to the ETS data.  This "creative" approach
to what should have been a scrupulous scientific evaluation was to
happen again.

The second draft of the EPA risk assessment was issued on June 18,
1992.  The continued political maneuverings within the EPA were
manifested by its efforts in coming up with a document that would more
strongly support the classification of ETS as a "Group A" carcinogen -
efforts made at the behest of the supposedly "independent" SAB.
During the drafting of the first risk assessment the EPA found the
U.S. studies did not support the "Group A" classification of ETS.  It
was therefore decided that all studies would be used, including the
foreign ones, since this yielded the desired result.  During the
preparation of the second draft the EPA reversed its decision and
chose instead to use only the U.S. studies.  There were two reasons
for this.  Firstly, the EPA was faced with a study done in China which
showed that the nonsmoking spouses of smokers actually experienced a
lower risk of lung cancer - hardly the kind of data wanted by the EPA.
Secondly, the EPA had obtained the preliminary data from a large
U.S. study which could be twisted to support its conclusions.  The EPA
also revised its standard of statistical significance, rewriting the
rules to ensure the result.

The second risk assessment contained something else which appeared thanks to
the SAB.  The first risk assessment stated there was no conclusive link
between ETS and respiratory diseases in children.  The second draft, however,
announced for the first time that there was indeed such an association.  This
statement was made without the benefit of any scientific corroboration, as no
new data had appeared on the subject since the first draft was written.  The
SAB was responsible for this move, since it suggested that the EPA
"strengthen" its conclusions concerning the effects of ETS on children.  It
is this aspect of the ETS risk assessment which starkly illustrates just how
willing the EPA was to collaborate in the shameless exploitation of emotions
by the anti-smoking movement.

The SAB reviewed the second risk assessment, allowing only 2 days for
a public hearing (the hearings took place on July 21-22, 1992) and
refusing requests for a longer public-comment period.  The SAB
approved the risk assessment in October, while admitting the
extrapolation of active smoking data would not be useful in
establishing the "Group A" classification of ETS.  Now that the review
process was complete the EPA made haste to do a final revision on its
ETS risk assessment.  During this final revision the foreign ETS
studies mysteriously crept back in, a final act of legerdemain before
the official release of the EPA document to the public.  The EPA's
report on ETS shows a clear disregard for the principles of good
science.  If the SAB had done the job it was supposed to, it would
have killed the risk assessment long before it could have gotten as
far as publication.  The SAB's conduct during the review process,
however was defined by activities which demonstrated that it was
merely going through the motions to satisfy the EPA's need to appear
as though the Agency acted with propriety in making its ETS risk
assessment.  On January 7, 1993 the public was presented not with the
result of careful research and independent scrutiny , but a document
which was the culmination of efforts by both the EPA and SAB to put a
veneer of scientific credibility over a blatant abuse of authority for
the purpose of advancing the anti-smoking cause.

Speaking Out

Immediately upon its release the EPA report was hailed by anti-smoking
activists as a watershed event in their fight to create a smoke-free society.
 The media was all too willing to do their part by giving the report wide
publicity.  The media's perspective is largely favorable to the anti-smoking
position, and aside from dissent by some members of the press, the coverage
has been predictably one-sided.  As a consequence of this collusive informatio
nal bias the public has been kept from knowing of the extensive evidence
which debunks the ETS myth.  This situation may, however, change soon - and
if it does, it will be thanks in great measure to the efforts of one man.
Although criticism from the media has been sparse, such is not the case with
a certain member of  Congress who has been concerned with the EPA's work on
ETS since it first began.  At the time of the EPA report's release Thomas J.
Bliley, Jr. was the ranking Republican minority member of the House Health
and Environment Subcommittee.  On July 21, 1993 Congressman Bliley made a
statement before the Subcommittee concerning the EPA ands its risk assessment
of ETS.  Attached to this statement was a 67-page report of his
investigations into the EPA's involvement in the ETS controversy.

Rep. Bliley's report is most revealing, and is a credible, well-documented
indictment not only of the EPA, but also the extent to which anti-smoking
activism has gained power through the government.  Besides the matter of how
science was misused by the EPA and SAB, the report provides details of
serious contracting improprieties, as well as a history of the EPA's work
leading up to the ETS risk assessment.  The report also furnishes important
facts pertaining to professional anti-smoking activists who have pursued
their agenda either through their positions in the EPA, or with the help of
allies within the Agency.  Most, if not all of this information is unknown to
the general public.

Competent criticism of the goings-on over ETS has also come from the world of
health research.  The controversy regarding the EPA report has brought to the
forefront two sources of such criticism who are worthy of note.   Dr. Alvan
Feinstein of Yale University Medical School is one of the world's leading
epidemiologists.  Dr. Feinstein has written on the questionable science
behind the official risk assessment of ETS, and his comments have also
extended his criticism to the entrenched anti-smoking bias within the public
health community.  His position on the ETS debate is a matter of public
record, and his observations have been featured in newspaper articles.  

The other critic, who is worthy of note, is Gary Huber, M.D., a professor of
medicine at the University of Texas Medical Center at Tyler.  He has written
extensively on the subject of ETS, and his own research seriously challenges
the assertions which the anti-smoking activists constantly present as "fact".
Dr. Huber and colleagues Robert E. Brockie, M.D. and Vijay K. Mahajan, M.D.
wrote an article on this research which appeared in the July, 1991 issue of
Consumers' Research magazine.  Soon after the release of the EPA report the
authors revisited the subject in an article published in the technical
journal Regulation, this time placing a critique of the EPA's risk assessment
within the larger context of their findings concerning ETS.  In December,
1994 Dr. Huber gave a presentation before the Cato Institute in which he
discussed the scientific and political aspects of the ETS issue, including
the role played by the EPA in advancing the anti-smoking agenda.  While this
presentation was remarkable enough for being in a public forum, what made it
more so were the startling revelations made by Dr. Huber concerning the use
of ETS in the formulation of a social engineering strategy before research
results had even been published.  The Cato Institute presentation was
broadcast in its entirety on C-SPAN, although the significance of the event
went unnoticed by the news media.

In spite of the increasing amount and quality of criticism that has been
leveled at the EPA, the Agency has steadfastly refused to so much as consider
re-evaluating its ETS risk assessment.  When Carol Browner replaced William
Reilly as EPA Administrator in 1993 she made it clear she would actively
support the Agency's role in promoting the anti-smoking cause.  This
recalcitrant attitude may, however have serious consequences for both the EPA
and the anti-smoking movement.  The general election of November 8, 1994
swept the Republicans into power in both Houses of Congress.  Among the
re-elected Republicans was Thomas J. Bliley, Jr., who assumed the
chairmanship of the House Commerce and Energy Committee - which includes the
Health and Environment Subcommittee.  The subcommittee chairman at the time
of Rep. Bliley's 1993 report to Congress was Henry Waxman (D. - Los Angeles),
a dedicated anti-smoking activist who effectively blocked all of Bliley's
efforts to initiate a Congressional investigation of the EPA.  Now that
Waxman has been replaced by the very man who so vigorously opposed his
crusade, the EPA faces the prospect of being targeted for Congressional
action.

Indeed, the events of November 8, 1994 do not bode well for the anti-smoking
movement.  The examinations of the ETS controversy by Bliley and Huber have
one thing in common - they demonstrate that scrutiny of the EPA's work on ETS
leads inevitably to discoveries concerning the essentially irrational nature
of anti-smoking activism.  Earlier in this article it was mentioned that the
public has been subjected to a one-sided barrage of information on ETS, and
that the situation may change soon.  Certainly a Congressional investigation
of the EPA would bring this about, and it is quite likely Congress will take
action under the capable leadership of Rep. Bliley. It also stands to reason
that the work of professionals like Dr. Huber will be drawn upon - and be
given public exposure - in the process.  The anti-smoking movement has good
reason to fear such a scenario.  Regardless of personal feelings about
smoking, the fact is that people resent being manipulated.  If the full truth
about the ETS scare is ever allowed to come out, then the anti-smoking
activists run the very real risk that the anger they have sought to create
will instead turn back on them, a defeat which could ultimately bring down
their smoking policy empire.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Mr. Bob Merrill, President of Californians for Smokers'
Rights, for providing me with a photocopy of Congressman Bliley's July, 1993
report.  Rep. Bliley's report contributed much of the information contained
in this article.  I would also like to thank CSR vice-president Otto Mueksch
for supplying me with additional documented information.  Last, but not
least, I want to thank Dr. Gary Huber's office for furnishing copies of the
published articles written by Dr. Huber, et al.

[ Steve, thanks so much for taking on this piece of research and writing.
Fascinating reading, and an eye opener!

Regardless of who's in Congress, though, I see no reason to assume that
the antis will roll over and play dead. They are still there, and they
have not changed their opinions. Members, please stay informed, and stay
active.  Call.  Write.  Vote. -S. ]


~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U ~\U

                       Today's Snappy Comeback:

(To a health nut:) "I'll have you know this cigar is natural, organic,
and without artificial ingredients, which is more than I can say for
your Gore-tex shorts, granola breath!" [Also see Jogger.]

[And to save you from thumbing through the J section of the Book of
Snappy Comebacks...]

(To a jogger:) "Hey, sorry about Jim Fixx."

                                - From "101 Ways to Answer the
                                  Question, 'Would You Please Put Out
                                  that #(!&*!$ Cigar'," Hague et. al.,
                                  1987. 

 U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~ U/~    |||_______{@}__)  (__{@}_______|||
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #178 -- February 19, 1995
  2. Subject: Antique Humidor
  3. Subject: Hello
  4. Subject: Pipe Experience
  5. Subject: NEW CIGAR CLUB
  6. Subject: Re: Pipes Digest #177 -- Febr...
  7. Subject: Introduction
  8. Subject: Big Smoke in DC
  9. Subject: Retail shops
  10. Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscription request
  11. Subject: Thank You
  12. Subject: pipe making
  13. Subject: Re: sad future for pipes????
  14. Subject: Oriental Leaf
  15. Subject: My So-called Tobacco Life
  16. Subject: Re: Your Pipes Digest subscri...
  17. Subject: Pipe World
  18. Subject: EPA article
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