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topic 38402

Smoking through copper tobacco pipes

A discussion started in 2004 & continuing through 2017


Q. I have a lot of friends smoking through copper. Is this dangerous? Are there any poisons released from heat? Can you smoke through copper safely?

Tom Waters
hobbyist/student - Murwillumbah, NSW, Australia


A. Hi Tom. No, the copper will not remove the hazardous tar and nicotine that are released by the tobacco. So no, they cannot smoke safely through copper :-)

Copper is not especially toxic unless you ingest a good bit of it, but a good general rule is not to use items for purposes for which they aren't intended because no studies are done of such situations, no history of safe/unsafe use is accumulated, and we're left only with guessing rather than data. Further, things aren't always what they look like, and it is possible to therefore employ something seriously hazardous.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. I was wondering if I make my dad a long pipe out of copper if it would get hot enough that it would burn him? It's at least 21" long if that makes a difference. And what should I put on it to make it safe?

Eric McGaughy
job corp - Longview, Washington, USA


A. If you are talking about a tobacco pipe, copper is a bad choice. It is the most heat conductive metal of the non precious metals.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. Copper is very conductive to heat, so chances are it will end up getting a bit hot.

As I pipe smoker I can't see why you'd want to use copper, as it will not let much cake build up around the bowl of the pipe (residue of ash and a bit of char on the inside of the pipe, sweetens the leaf a bit when smoking depending on what tobacco was smoked for the first bowl). Some don't like to let their pipe build up any cake, but it adds to a smoking experience.

If you are bent on using copper I would suggest finding something to insulate the bowl of the pipe, the copper will become uncomfortably hot to the touch, and it will be a heavy piece and need to be held in the hand.

Marc Banks
Blacksmith - Shiloh, North Carolina

Using a chrome socket as a smoking pipe

February 22, 2015

Q. I have been using a craftsmen 4mm socket as a pipe to smoke medical grade marijuana out of lately. I put my medical grade marijuana in one end of the small 4 mm socket and smoke out of it either using a match or bic lighter. I am just wondering if smoking out of this nickel chrome plating is releasing bad chemicals when I smoke out of it. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you... sincerely James

James Dobbs
- Daytona beach, Florida, usa

June 17, 2017

Q. I made a Church warden style pipe and to keep the wood stem nice and open I used a piece of copper tube the bowl is still wood but the stem is copper would there be any negative effects from the copper? I've heard different things about copper being dangerous and toxic or what not but I was seeing that being said when it was being heated up or burnt so would there be any health impacts aside from whatever the tobacco may cause?

Jessie Nieboer
- Walkerville Michigan USA

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