Meet the team behind Smoke Works

We’re working to dismantle barriers to help harm reduction programs reach more people with safer smoking supplies.

Our story

While working at a needle exchange in Boston, we noticed a lack of engagement with stimulant users. There were people at our doorstep who had no reason to come inside and see all the other services a needle exchange has to offer; Testing, Narcan, referrals, strong coffee. Pipes, we thought, were the engagement tool we needed. We weren’t alone in identifying the need, but most exchanges were restricted by financial or legal barriers. Many outreach workers who spotted the gap in services were even paying out of pocket for pipes when they could. 

The orders started coming in and one day, we looked up and had a few hundred dollars in our bank account. This made us really uncomfortable because we knew our community had other needs too, so we started redistributing our excess funds to meet needs triaged by the harm reduction community. Sometimes this meant giving $40 to a bail fund and other times it meant writing a check to a program so they could purchase tents for their participants.

As we look toward the future, we want to continue supporting the needs of our community. That means finding new supplies (most recently, we added hammer pipes to our catalog) and gathering research and resources to help advocate for the decriminalization of pipes.

Our team

Jim, (he/him)

Executive Director |

Lived experience led Jim to direct service work in the Boston harm reduction community in 2018. A former stimulant user, he was impressed with the resources for PWID but disheartened by the lack of engagement with stimulant users. Joining forces with Nate, the two began Smoke Works. Jim credits the tight-knit harm reduction community's support with saving him from an otherwise likely and miserable career in the restaurant industry.

Nate (he/him)

Co-founder |

Through lived experience and the relationships that Nate developed, he felt an urgent need for harm reduction alternatives that not only reached unmet communities but potentially would reduce harm to those in difficult situations.

Tatjana (she/her)

Business Development |

Tatjana arrived at Smoke Works with empathy, an in-depth comprehension of small business practices, a keen eye for attention to detail, desire to meet people where they are, and a ridiculous amount of knowledge pertaining to office furniture design.   Volunteering with harm reduction organizations in the past, Tatjana saw how Smoke Works helped to fill the gaps that exist for users who do not, or do not want to inject their drugs, and was eager to help the movement.  She gets personal gratification in helping others, paper arts, and “mum snugs” from her pups.       

Katie (she/her)

Research Coordinator |

Katie sought out degrees in psychology and social work hoping to someday help to reduce the stigma against substance use and mental illness, only to find out that harm reduction has been doing this the whole dang time. She worked at AHOPE Needle Exchange as the program's data coordinator for two years, where she met her harm reduction family and was able to watch Smoke Works grow. Still needing a dose of harm reduction in her life, she now serves as a research coordinator on projects Jim cooks up to help harm reductionists everywhere bring safer smoking initiatives to their community.

Abby (she/her)

Research Coordinator |

Abby had worn many different hats in her life before finding the field of substance use. Her head first introduction to the harm reduction world was as a research project manager at Boston Medical Center/Brandeis University, coordinating several studies working with people who use drugs. She was radicalized by the staff at all of the drug user health programs and now works to move others in that direction. Abby is honored to be able to lend her skills as a researcher to the Smoke Works crew and believes that great things lie ahead for this team! If she’s not nose deep in a research project, you can find her rock climbing, skiing, biking, or laughing at memes on the internet.

Delilah & Taps

Directors of Emotional Support

Delilah (left) and Taps (right) are step-sisters and long-time supporters of Smoke Works’ mission. Embedded in the business since day one, their chief roles have been emotional support and security, guarding our well-being and inventory of pipes.

Want to offer safer smoking supplies but don’t know where to start?

We offer free consultations for harm reduction, activist, and outreach organizations to help navigate any barriers you face to offering supplies.

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