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 most often seen with 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 one PSA segment from The All-New Popeye Hour he would advise his nephews against smoking, promptly adding that he uses his pipe only for its whistling sounds. In the later web series Popeye's Island Adventures, the pipe was removed altogether, replaced by a whistle.