The world today is divided into smokers and non-smokers. It is true that the smokers cause some nuisance to the non-smokers, but this nuisance is physical, while the nuisance that the non-smokers cause the smokers is spiritual. There are, of course, a lot of non-smokers who don’t try to interfere with the smokers, and wives can be trained even to tolerate their husbands’ smoking in bed. That is the surest sign of a happy and successful marriage. It is sometimes assumed, however, that the non-smokers are morally superior, and that they have something to be proud of, not realizing that they have missed one of the greatest pleasures of mankind. I am willing to allow that smoking is a moral weakness, but on the other hand, we must beware of the man without weaknesses. He is not to be trusted. He is apt to be always sober and he cannot make a single mistake. His habits are likely to be regular, his existence more mechanical and his head always maintains its supremacy over his heart. Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. For that reason, I am always scared and ill at ease when I enter a house in which there are no ash trays. The room is apt to be too clean and orderly, the cushions are apt to be in their right places, and the people are apt to be correct and unemotional. And immediately I am put on my best behavior, which means the same thing as the most uncomfortable behavior.
Now the moral and spiritual benefits of smoking have never been appreciated by these correct and righteous and unemotional and unpoetic souls. But since we smokers are usually attacked from the moral, and not the artistic side, I must begin by defending the smoker’s morality, which is on the whole higher than that of the non-smokers. The man with a pipe in his mouth is the man after my heart. He is more genial, more sociable, has more intimate indiscretions to reveal, and sometimes he is quite brilliant in conversation, and in any case, I have a feeling that he likes me as much as I like him. I agree entirely with Thackeray, who wrote “The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouths of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.”
A smoker may have dirtier finger-nails, but that is no matter when his heart is warm, and in any case a style of conversation contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected is such a rare thing that one is willing to pay a high price to enjoy it. And most important of all, a man with a pipe in his mouth is always happy, and after all, happiness is the greatest of all moral virtues. W. Maggin says that “no cigar smoker ever committed suicide,” and it is still truer that no pipe smoker ever quarrels with his wife. The reason is perfectly plain: one cannot hold a pipe between one’s teeth and at the same time shout at the top of one’s voice. No one has ever been seen doing that. For one naturally talks in a low voice when smoking a pipe. What happens when a husband who is a smoker gets angry, is that he immediately lights a cigarette or a pipe, and looks glum. But that will not be for long. For his emotion has already found an outlet, and although he may want to continue to look angry in order to justify his indignation or sense of being insulted, still he cannot keep it up, for the gentle fumes of the pipe are altogether too agreeable and soothing, and as he puffs the smoke out, he also seems to let out, breath by breath, his stored-up anger. That is why when a wise wife sees her husband about to fly into a fit of rage, she should gently stick a pipe in his mouth and say , “There!Forget about!” This formula always works. A wife may fail, but a pipe never.
-Lin Yutyang, The Importance Of Living