Person Feature of the Month: Chris Tucker
THE QUICK FIRE INTERVIEW
GH: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
CT: A little bit about me. I am originally from Texas, 27 years old, I currently live in Southern California – Costa Mesa to be exact – and I enjoy long walks on the beach, piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. To summarise what I do, I am the director of sales and marketing for an e-liquid manufacturer and distributor out of Lexington, Kentucky.
GH: How long have you been vaping for?
CT: I have been vaping for almost 4 years now.
GH: What made you switch from the tobacco to e-cigarettes?
CT: I came across a lot of people every day and I was tired of smelling like cigarettes (I am weird about always smelling good) – I was tired of waking up every day coughing and I also having to always go outside and have a smoke at all hours of the day. I had tried other methods and they just didn’t work. I went to the dentist to have my wisdom teeth removed and they told me that I couldn’t smoke or else it would cause problems. I didn’t smoke for 3 days and that’s when I walked into my first vape shop, picked up a device and some pineapple e-liquid and haven’t looked back.
GH: Was there a particular person or group of people who helped influence your new hobby? Perhaps someone who inspired your lifestyle change?
CT: Well, yes, my mum. She died of a heart attack and was a former smoker herself. On her death certificate they noted that she had COPD as a result of smoking and that it could have also contributed to the heart attack. This was a big influence on everything. Had she had this option, she may have not had that happen. I now have the opportunity for a better alternative.
GH: What was the first e-cigarette you ever tried and where did you try it?
CT: My first e-cigarette was a little cig-a-like I ordered off of the television. It tasted horrible and I didn’t get the draw I needed. The device that helped me quit was a mech mod and a dripper that one of my friends found in her car that her ex boyfriend had left in there. It was a nimbus dripper and a diablo mechanical mod. I still have it and often say had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Funny how those things happen.
GH: What’s your favourite e-liquid and why?
CT: There have been a few favourite e-liquids over the years. At the moment, it is Franklin from the Sad Fathers line. When we were developing it, I kept stealing the sample bottles and taking them home with me. Once it went into production I kept on it. It is a Belgian waffle with boysenberry syrup, butter and whipped cream. *grabs bottle, drips some, vapes it and smiles happily*
GH: How do you see the future of vaping taking shape over the next 5 years?
CT: It is hard to say, here in the states we are up against the FDA regulations which would make it illegal to sell anything made after February of 2007 as of August 2018. There are a lot of shops that have closed up over here due to overregulation, taxes and a negative perception of vaping from their local governments. I hope we are able to get the grandfather date changed and save this technology here in the states from extinction. I hope to see it expand globally and I hope to have other studies such as the one done in the UK by the Royal College of Physicians gain traction in helping to spread the message that vaping isn’t smoking.
GH: In your experience, what has been the biggest turning point for the vaping industry?
CT: I would say the regulations here in the United States that went into effect on the 8th of August 2016. As of that day, we could no longer innovate here in the states and I would consider ourselves the leader of innovation in the industry. I hope to see innovation from overseas that keeps this going.
GH: What advice would you give to those looking to give up smoking in favour of e-cigarettes? What was the hardest part for you?
CT: That first cigarette of the morning. I always tell new vapers, just don’t have that first one. That one is always the best. Use the vape instead. Your body craves the nicotine but your mind tells you to grab the cigarette. You have to retrain your mind and the body will follow. Also, stay determined, set goals and remember why you wanted to quit. Stay true to that. Just keep vaping.
GH: What’s been your most embarrassing or most memorable moment in the world of vaping?
CT: Most memorable moment was doing my first overseas interview back in the Cuttwood days. Being in London at Wembley and having somebody interested in what I had to say halfway across the world was just insane then, and it still is. I just want to thank everyone who has followed me and supported what I have done in this industry. It makes me grateful everyday when I see people using the products I promote.
GH: And finally, any words of encouragement or wisdom regarding how you feel about vaping as a movement towards a healthier world?
CT: To sum it up – go tell your non-vaping friends and family about the change that vaping has made in your life. Talk to your friends that currently smoke and encourage and guide them to switch to a healthier alternative. BE the message – VAPING IS NOT SMOKING. Get involved in your communities and put actions to work and show them this is a community of people who have the power to change the world. This is more than just a vape – it is a community, it is a healthier alternative and we have the power to help end smoking related illness. We have the power to cause change. We have the power to be the change we want to see.