Tik Tok accused of teen vaping in British doubles

The social media platform has been accused of failing to promote electronic cigarettes to children, as TikTok has been dubbed the “worst criminal.”

Come as a survey (pdf) Announced Thursday, one in 14 teenagers suggested that they smoke regularly.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the Smoking and Health Philanthropy (ASH) and partially funded by the Ministry of Health showed that the current percentage of vapers between the ages of 11 and 17 has reached 7%. rice field. Double the rate from 3.3% last year. The figure for 2020 was 4.1%.

The percentage of 11-17 year olds who have tried vaping before has increased to 15.8% this year, compared to 11.2% in 2021 and 13.9% in 2020.

However, the majority of age groups (83.8 percent) have never tried vaping.

Of those who have never tried smoking, 92.2 percent have never tried vaping.

Older children are also more likely to smoke.

Epoch Times Photo

Promotion awareness and supply

The awareness of e-cigarettes in this age group reached 91% this year, compared to 64% in 2013, and the annual survey asked for the first time about awareness of the spread of e-cigarettes.

More than half (56%) of respondents reported that they knew about e-cigarette promotions. Most often in stores and online, he had the highest awareness of any person (72%) who had ever smoked.

Among the most frequently cited sources of online promotions, TikTok is at the top of the list (45%), Instagram (31%), Snapchat (22%), Facebook (15.4%), Twitter (12.5%). ) Follows.

The platform has also been accused by experts for not enforcing rules on the promotion of e-cigarettes for minors, with TikTok being nominated as the worst criminal.

“Social media platforms probably have policies to prevent [the] It’s an e-cigarette promotion to children, but they rarely force them, “said Gillian Golden, CEO of the Independent UK E-Cigarette Trade Association.

“We monitor and report breaches on social media platforms, but TikTok is the worst criminal and they rarely take action,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo

The most commonly cited source of e-cigarettes for minor steam smokers is the store (46.5 percent), and 43 percent say they were given e-cigarettes by others.

Researchers made 422 test purchases in February and March and tried to use under the age of 18 to buy disposable e-cigarettes from stores.

Illegal purchases were successful in about one-third of the time.

“A quarter of the products we purchased did not meet UK standards and should not have been sold in this country,” the report said.

Although it is illegal to sell cigarettes and e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18, the store is also a major supplier of more than half (51.9%) of underage cigarette smokers.

A TikTok spokeswoman said: “At TikTok, nothing is more important than keeping the community, especially the youngest users, safe.

“We strictly prohibit content that portrays or promotes the sale, transaction, or provision of tobacco, including vaping products, regardless of age of the user, and removes content that is found to violate community guidelines.

“We also do not recommend content that displays or promotes tobacco products in TikTok user feeds.”

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.