to inject some science into this thread then, here are the results of an approx 20 yr study amongst UK men who sound of a similar age to OP. (Note: I don't think it specifies if any of them inhale the smoke; I think we must assume that some do, some don't)
Here are the conclusions:
Pipe/cigar smokers have significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke events than never smokers.
Cardiovascular, non-cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality are significantly higher in pipe/cigar smokers than never smokers.
Pipe/cigar smokers have significantly increased risk of smoking-related cancer, largely due to lung cancer.
Pipe/cigar smoking health effects are intermediate between never smokers and light smokers; lung cancer risk is similar to light cigarette smoking.
All forms of tobacco smoking are hazardous to health.
I think OP has been beat up enough in this thread so I'm not going to add anything personally. I'd say the answer was pretty clear cut though.
Thanks Zilog, excellent article.
This part of it:
Makes perfect sense. I can see that pipe and cigar smokers would have a similar mortality rate to light cigarette smokers. It is much easier to jump outside for a quick cigarette than to put together a bowl full of tobacco in a pipe, get outside, light it, tamp it, relight it, retamp it, etc for a few minutes of smoking. It is just more trouble than it is worth and I usually reserve my pipe smoking to relaxation time in the evenings. For cigar smokers, if you like large cigars, those are not a 10 minute thing but upwards of 2 hours. Again, usually reserved for relaxation time.In these middle-aged British men, both primary and secondary pipe/cigar smokers experienced an increased risk of major cardiovascular events, cancer incidence, and all-cause mortality compared with never smokers, at a level similar to current light smokers. These findings supplement published data indicating that all tobacco smoking, not just cigarette smoking, should be regarded as hazardous to health.