Early Monday morning I hop into the front passenger seat of my sister’s shag orange, 1974 Volvo 240 (rightly named ‘Old Orange’). It’s my first day of high school, and my older sister has agreed to save me from the humiliation of taking the school bus by offering me a ride. Shortly after we take off to school, my sister informs me that we’ll be picking up her friend, and that we would be taking an extended route to school so they could smoke a cigarette before classes start. I was shocked; here was the smartest person I knew, and looked up to, smoking a cigarette! Didn’t she know that cigarettes were bad for you and caused all sorts of problems? But — not wanting to disappoint her or lose my privilege of riding to school in Old Orange — I kept my mouth shut, gave up my front seat, and quietly began what soon became my extreme dislike of cigarettes.
You see, despite my sister smoking, she didn’t want me to start. I was never offered one to try. However, after the first trip to school I soon decided I never would want to. As my sister and her friend drove around the back roads to school, smoking with gloves on and windows down, I was trapped in the backseat with smoke and, often times, poorly thumb-flicked ashes hitting my face and clothing. So, when we finally got to school, my sister and friend would get out of the car, spray on some perfume, and go waltzing into school smelling like fresh flowers while I trailed behind smelling like the ashtray I had become.
Then, halfway into my junior year of high school and well passed the days of riding in Old Orange, I managed to join the Oak Harbor Fire Department as a part time firefighter. Finally, here was something that would not only get me into shape and keep me healthy, but I believed I would be around others with the same mindset: that
smoking was a detriment to one’s health. I quickly realized though that the huge amount of stress that came with the job only fueled those around to light up in order to calm their nerves. I didn’t blame them though, there were definitely more than a few sleepless nights when I thought maybe having one drag would help, but I figured I breathed in enough toxic smoke putting out fires.
After high school I was accepted to Western Washington University and moved up to Bellingham. After flirting with a business degree for a while, I ended up majoring in Art Studios with a concentration in Photography. Throughout my four years of university and leading into the 4 years afterwards, I worked in the food industry as a chef and general manager of two restaurants. Anyone that has ever worked in that industry knows that the allowed 10 minute cigarette breaks are one of the few things saving you from a complete mental breakdown. So I once again found myself on the outside of a high stress job while those around me smoked. I understood the reasoning and rational, but it still wasn’t for me. I just wished there was some way that all the people in my life — all my friends from work, even my sister — could find a way to get that buzz, that destress-er they longed for and deserved without a cigarette.
Let’s fast forward to last December. I had quit both my jobs in food after an eventual breakdown and found my next endeavor to be an MLM style insurance company scam that promised high earnings and delivered nothing. I was unemployed, feeling pretty low about myself, and really not sure what to do. It was then that an old coworker told me about Mount Baker Vapor. I didn’t really know much at the time about the vaping world, but thought it was better than doing nothing, so I sent them my resume and quickly joined the production line mixing bottles. I was fascinated by the product I was making, and suddenly found myself eager to learn more about it. Every day I saw comments from customers telling me how MBV helped them stop smoking, or helped them to start weaning off the tobacco products that had seemed to plagued my life. Today, I make it a point to help inform people I know that want to stop smoking but aren’t sure about switching to vaping. I am excited to know that there is finally a choice for those people in my life that matter to me, and all I can do is thank Mount Baker Vapor for letting me be a part of their family.
Something to think about:
Smoking doesn’t only affect your life but those around you and those that care about you. According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, more than 2.5 million non-smokers have died from exposure to secondhand smoke since 1964.