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Back Street Vapes helps disabled vets

Back Street Vapes, owned and operated by Wes Bailey, is trying to give back to those who have served our country. On select bottles of vape liquid, you may find a small, blue tag that could make a big difference for a disabled American veteran.

Bailey, a teacher at Cumberland Elementary School and the tennis coach at Harlan County High School, said after he retires he doesn’t want to just sit at home. Instead, he hopes to make a difference in people’s lives with the vape shops.

On March 1, Bailey opened the second location of Back Street Vapes at the Woodland Plaza beside GameStop. The first shop, located in Cumberland, opened in July 2018.

“There’s so much negative stuff out there about the vaping industry,” Bailey said.

By offering vape liquid with the blue tag reading “Hometown Hero,” a percentage is taken from the purchase and sent to help disabled veterans.

“With every bottle you purchase, Hometown Hero helps disabled American veterans,” the tag reads.

Vaping is also an alternative to smoking or dipping tobacco, that may help frequent users cut back or completely stop, according to Bailey. One customer noted how he would keep a dip in throughout most of the day. Since he began vaping, he finds himself rarely putting a dip in or even purchasing a roll of his favorite, Grizzly Long Cut Wintergreen.

Bailey says he doesn’t vape but wants to help people stop smoking.

“We want people to stop smoking,” Bailey said. “Up in Cumberland, we’ve helped around 20 different people get completely off smoking. Now we’re working with them to get their nicotine levels down to zero.”

Bailey added that each bottle of vape liquid can contain a different amount of nicotine. He said the highest milligram amount he purchases is 0.6 in order to help his customers slowly cut out their nicotine consumption.