Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Jung Lim demonstrates one of Tobacco Depot’s many hand-blown glass water pipes. - Photo by Kelly Everett
Jung Lim demonstrates one of Tobacco Depot’s many hand-blown glass water pipes.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

It may not be politically correct, but tobacco and related paraphernalia is still a big part of our culture.

And Tobacco Depot “No. 5” in Silverdale is at the forefront.

Run by a Korean family who immigrated to the area 18 months ago, Tobacco Depot has been a growing success story, said manager Byung Lim.

It has the widest variety of cigars in town — 120 varieties, ranging from $1.50 to $19.99 each. A full compliment of popular cigarette brands — Camel, Doral, Lucky Strike, Marlboro, Salem, Sherman’s and Winston, including clove cigarettes. Cigarette cases, fancy drinking flasks, sun glasses and even candy and soda.

Their selection of lighters includes every kind of ignition system. Also, lighters disguised as miniature cell phones, cars, pens, and miniature (imitation) hand grenades. There are lighters on key rings, classic Zippos, and even some embossed with “alien” visages.

There’s a vast selection of hand-crafted knives ranging from pocket knives to larger, “fantasy” blades inspired by TV and films.

“We have cigarette tobacco you can get to roll-your-own,” he said, displaying a variety of papers. Tobacco for pipes is also sold at the store, plus a small selection of traditional brier pipes.

Among the more controversial items are the water pipes — “hookahs” or “bongs” as they’re called in the counterculture.

Lim was proud of the variety and color of the pipes, many several feet high and made of hand-blown glass in brilliant colors. Others carved from fine woods. Others in miniature, but still hand-blown of glass, hand-cut brass and other fine materials.

Though some were marked down, none were cheap. These were fine smoking pipes.

Lim made it abundantly clear he was not selling the water pipes for the smoking of marijuana or hashish, but for organic tobacco — their traditional use.

“Studies have shown that smoking tobacco through a water pipe rids the smoke of harmful elements. If you’re going to smoke, it’s healthier for you,” he said.

Lim is looking forward to the holidays, when stock will be expanded to include such things as humidors to preserve those pricey cigars.

Cigars will last quite a while if kept moist — usually easy in the Northwest, but a bit more difficult this summer.

Tobacco Depot No. 5 is located at 9472 Silverdale Way N.W. Call (360) 307-0353 for more information.

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