Vaping Companies are Selling to Teens on TikTok App

Tiktok is the social media app that took the world by storm in 2019/2020. It seemingly came out of nowhere and rocketed to the trending pages of news outlets. While TikTok is open to anyone over the age of 13, TikTok is still primarily a children’s app which is unbelievable at times. Most of the trends on TikTok are more suited for an older audience and most of the songs that have viral dances are usually explicit. Unfortunately, this is the least of TikTok’s problems. For a while, we seemed to have gotten ahold of the vaping problem and the accessibility of vapes to kids under the age of 21. With TikTok, this is no longer the case.

Vaping is an electronic cigarette or an e-cigarette that mimics the act of smoking actual cigars or tobacco. Vaping is the act of using an e-cigarette and “vape” is an alternative term for an electronic cigarette.

A vape usually contains a certain amount of nicotine. You may be wondering how this is better than traditional cigarettes? It is better because e-cigarettes do not contain smoke but rather vapour. They also don’t contain tobacco. A vape is often reusable and will come in different palatable flavours. These palatable flavours make it seem less harmful to teens however, nicotine is addictive and is toxic when consumed at high levels. Yes, when consumed as directed it is not toxic however teens are consuming significantly more pods than they should with some even experiencing “nicotine withdrawals” when they try to quit.

Why and how is vaping a harmful activity? Nicotine is harmful. It can cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, blurry vision, irritation in the throat and mouth and bouts of coughing. Now you’re probably wondering what Tiktok has to do with vaping. They seem very different and fundamentally they are. As earlier stated, TikTok is an app that is used by mostly kids (13-21) and there is no way to properly filter the content that appears on the for you page. Yes, your child could have restrictions in place but this would most likely bar them from seeing the popular trends on the platform and make the experience on the app boring.

Several trends on TikTok have involved “ghosting” which is the ability to do various tricks with the vapour from vapes. If this is the first introduction a teen has to vaping then they would see it as something cool and fun to do. They wouldn’t see the harms attached. Let’s discuss how vaping companies target teens.

  1. Vaping companies on TikTok also have TikTok accounts they use to advertise their products.
  1. These accounts offer discreet packaging, delivery and flavours that sound wonderful. These companies spend thousands of dollars on marketing and research therefore they know what appeals to a younger audience.
  1. It is very difficult to get accounts that are not violating the guidelines of TikTok taken down and banned. Therefore mass reporting vaping accounts do not work.
  1. The way the TikTok algorithm works is that it recommends videos that you have watched, liked, commented on and interacted with because those are the videos that keep you on the platform.

This leaves young impressionable kids open to well-produced and thought out adverts that most kids would not be wary of. For more information on vaping, Tiktok trends and how they mix visit this website.

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