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The Beginner's Guide to Smoking

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With plenty of movies and music dedicated to smoking culture, its no wonder why there’s such wide public interest. Laid back and goofy, the atmosphere that surrounds smokers is equal parts cool as it is curated. There are many hidden rules and an unspoken etiquette that have tripped up the less experienced smokers and made them the butt of the joke (anybody ever cough at the wrong time and turned a water pipe into a fountain? Try living down that reputation.) To avoid the merciless teasing of your friends, brush up on some of our basic tips so that you can graduate from newbie to experienced smoker.

Table of Contents

Tip #1: Get Yourself a Clipper Lighter


Clippers are the gold standard lighters for the smoker community, with many features specifically designed with a smokers’ needs in mind. To start, these lighters are entirely refillable and replaceable flints, making them a good investment and a little more eco-conscious than your typical throwaway lighter. Find a handy poker tool hidden underneath the flint wheel to help pack some of your legal herbs into cones or rolling papers. The sleek body is perfectly sized to help pack tobacco into the bowls of your pipe, water pipe, or bubbler. Overall, the Clipper is the perfect multi-tool lighter to keep in your smoker’s kit.

We have a multitude of Clipper styles available for purchase. Be extra with our premium gold Clipper, or the icy blue Clipper, both complete with a matching carrying case. If neither sounds up your alley, you could go for the sleek silver Clipper, that’s as beautiful as it is useful. With so many colors and styles to choose from, it’s easy to find a Clipper that completes your aesthetic.

Tip #2: Keep Your Smoke Sesh Discreet


The best way to stay inconspicuous when smoking in public is carefully choosing your tool. Rolling papers and incognito pipes are excellent options for keeping your smoke sessions under the radar, though still give off that unmistakable smell of your herb. The best choice is to invest in a vaporizer battery and concentrate cartridge, which is lightweight and inconspicuous given the prevalence of e-cigs in the public sphere.

Keep it cool when you’re out and about with some RAW rolling papers. They’re easy to use, perfectly thin, and unassuming so you’re sure to fly under the radar (Don’t forget to pick up some prerolled tips! This will seal the deal if you ever have to make the infamous “but this is just a cigarette” argument to security). If pipes are more your forte, take the EZ pipe for a spin. Its disguised as a simple lighter and self-contained to make it completely smokeless, so there’s no worry about a smoke signal to security.

Tip #3: Hide the Smell of Smoke


We’ve all gotten anxiety when smoking at our homes or apartments, worried the smell might drift to those uptight neighbors. Avoid this completely by crafting a makeshift smoke deodorizer from items already in your house. First, you’ll need a used paper towel roll, meaning no paper still attached (that’d just be wasteful), and some dryer sheets. Shove quite a few dryer sheets into the end of the roll, and you just made yourself a handy air freshener. After hitting your pipe, place the other end of the tube on your mouth and exhale slowly to allow the smoke to steadily pass through the dryer sheets, thereby eliminating the smell. This method obviously works best for pipe and water pipes as the bowls can be covered by the lighter to reduce the amount of side smoke which can still stink up the room. Rolling papers, on the other hand, are constantly burning, making it difficult to hide the smell even when exhaling into the tube. If you're looking for a ready to go option, try the Smoking Buddy. It's basically the same thing as the toilet paper roll trick, except its portable, durable and lasts longer than a one time use. If you're tired of dousing yourself expensive body spray after a smoke session, pick up some Ozium odor spray instead.

Tip #4: In a Pinch? Make a DIY Grinder


There’s nothing more telling of your newbie status than not grinding your herbs before smoking. Not only is this wasteful, its an inefficient way of smoking. You’ll want your herb chopped into small pieces so that it burns evenly. To achieve this without a grinder, you have many options available, the simplest being tearing the herb with your hands. For a more even cut, you can use a knife and a cutting board, like how you’d chop up your vegetables. Another easy substitute is placing the herb in an empty pill bottle with two nickles. After screwing the lid back on, shake the bottle for a minute or so. When you remove the cap, you should have your herb perfectly ground.

Grinders are a necessity, so when you’re finally looking to buy one, look no further. Our easy, wallet-friendly grinder comes in a beautiful shock of blue and is extremely functional. If you’re looking for a little bit more luxury, the 4 piece Blazy Susan grinder is a no-brainer. It comes in the perfect shade of pink and a bottom tray that catches all your excess herb.

Tip #5: Keep Your Glass Clean

Keep it Clean

A dirty, tar-covered pipe is every smoker’s worst nightmare. It clogs the bowl and is generally visually unappealing to your guests. Start fresh by doing the following steps with common household cleaning agents:

Step 1: Empty pipe completely of any leftover tobacco or herb.
Step 2: Fill a sandwich bag with rubbing alcohol (90% isopropyl will make it easier, but 71% works as well.)
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the bag. Kosher or other large grain salts will work best for scrubbing all that gunk away. It can be helpful to pour salt directly into pipe if possible.
Step 4: Shake bag for about 1 -2 minutes, or until pipe appears clean.
Step 5: Allow to soak overnight. This step is optional but guarantees your pipe is squeaky clean.
Step 6: Rinse well with hot water.

If you don’t have those ingredients on hand, you can always purchase some 420 cleaner, guaranteed to knock out even the most stubborn of resin. Sometimes, in more intricate glass water pipes, it can be difficult to reach those nooks and crannies that hide gunk from prior smoke sessions. By getting some handy pipe cleaners (who knew you could use them for more than your crafts?) you can really clean out those hard to reach spaces. With the fibers acting as tiny little scrubs, your pipe will look brand new after a little bit of time and effort.

Tip #6: Make a Pipe on the Fly


There may be a situation when you want to smoke with your pals but have none of your smoking gear on you. Rise to the occasion by MacGyvering household items into a personal pipe. The most popular would be the apple pipe which you can achieve this by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Rinse the apple and remove the stem.
Step 2: Grab a toothpick and poke holes straight down where the stem was, about halfway down the apple, near the core.
Step 3: Take some kind of cylindrical object (Pens work great, but make sure to remove the ink cartridge first!) Stab through the middle of the apples body to the core.
Step 4: Make the carb by stabbing the apple again on the other side, or wherever your thumb naturally sits.
Step 5: Clean out any loose apple pieces from the mouthpiece.

Voila! It’s ready for your smoke session. If an apple isn’t readily available, you can make a pipe out of water bottles and soda cans following the same sort of process: poke a hole along the body for your bowl, and place some aluminum foil where the hole now is. Perforate the foil with a safety pin to allow air to travel through, add your legal smoking herbs, and you’re golden! Still not easy enough? Turn any bottle into the perfect gravity pipe, no effort required, with the gravity key. If you are looking for more DIY smoking methods, check out or “Smoking Hacks” article.

Tip #7: Respect Smoking Etiquette

When smoking with your experienced smoker friends, there are a few key rules you should brush up on. Firstly, always bring some of your own stash and never expect others to provide the herb for your smoke session. Like your mom always told you, “never show up to a party empty handed”, smoke sessions are no different. Secondly, when sharing a rolled herb, puff twice and pass it to your left. You don’t want to take more than your share of hits as it’s rude to the host and the other guests to Bogart or hog the supply. Finally, make sure once the bowl is cash or burned out, announce it. Don’t keep passing the ashes around, as that just gives the next person in the rotation a nasty surprise. Maybe offer to pack the next bowl with your own supply. Remember generous smokers keep generous friends, so be considerate.


There you have it! These tips are sure to ease some of your anxiety around seasoned smokers, as well as helping you learn some quick hacks to save you when you don’t have all the tools necessary for a proper smoke session. Don’t sweat it too much if you can’t remember every rule we listed - we get it, after smoking out your friends, you’ll be too busy trying to remember that really good pizza place that delivers to your apartment. Hopefully reading this gave you the confidence to take a seat at the table (er, sofa?) and solidify you as a great addition to your friends smoke circle.

We love hearing from you! In the comments below tell us your best piece of advice for newbies to the smoking world.

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