Actually, we can probably infer that Samwise at least did enjoy the pipe-weed on occasion from this passage from ‘The Ring Goes South’:
In a letter, Tolkien said that Bilbo and Frodo shouldn’t be seen as typical hobbits. We know that Bilbo is a smoker from the first sight we have of him at the beginning of The Hobbit , but when the Travellers stop at Rivendell on the way home he gives pipes to Merry and Pippin, explaining that he doesn’t smoke anymore. We learned in “Many Meetings” that he no longer went in much for such things as feasts. So his experiences and probably his contact with the Elves have changed him.
Come to think of it the only members of the fellowship not mentioned to smoke are Frodo, Boromir and Legolas. The tobacco lobby is strong in ME.
Frodo was, however, always somewhat different from other Hobbits. Even before the Ring (and moreso after). Bilbo might have been strange to other Hobbits, but he was always very Hobbity.
In general there’s remarkably little mention of smoking even for those characters who definitely do. I’m not sure there’s any mention of M&P smoking until Flotsam & Jetsam, for example. I don’t believe Aragorn is described as smoking anywhere between his first appearance at Bree, and that same chapter.
The fact that Frodo hasn’t any to lend to Saruman doesn’t imply too much, since he hasn’t had any opportunity to restock unlike M&P- one assumes that Sam and Gimli (and perhaps Frodo) were cadging off of them. Although pipeweed (“sweet galenas”) apparently grew in Gondor, it wasn’t pulled and dried etc- the process of rendering fresh leaf smokable is very involved!
So, since much of what Sam carried was intended for Frodo, either Sam or Frodo must have smoked.
It goes for things considered more cultural than laughter and elimination, like education and religious practices. It is generally presumed that Jesus generally acted in conformity with the cultural practice of Jews in First Century Galilee.
I always assumed that Frodo smoked with Gandalf in chapter two of The Fellowship, but having read the posts in the link provided by Armemelos, I think I will have to read that chapter again.
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