A smoking pipe is an implement made to smoke tobacco, comprised of a bowl or chamber for the material's combustion, and a shank or stem ending in a mouthpiece. Historically, pipes are known to have been used as early as 500 B.C.
Popeye is seldom seen without a pipe in his mouth. His is a corncob pipe, a rustic and inexpensive type that is made from the corn's cob center. In the animated cartoons, Popeye uses it to make sounds that imitate a ship's horn, often as punctuation when singing his theme song, and/or to blow puffs or smoke. He also employs his pipe in various useful ways, either as a blowtorch, to propel himself into the air, or even to suck spinach into his mouth. As a cartoon character, however, Popeye's use of a smoking implement has met with criticism in modern times. Thus, in The All-New Popeye Hour he would advise his nephews against smoking, promptly adding that he uses his pipe only for its whistling sounds.