Charli D'Amelio is the biggest of a new wave of TikTok celebrities, made famous from the popularity of her videos on the lip-syncing app. While the future of TikTok looks uncertain, many of its stars are finding their careers are going from strength to strength.
D'Amelio, who has made her name off a host of dance choreography TikToks has amassed an incredible 80 million followers. With that level of popularity, though, comes scrutiny as well.
Fans of the USA-based star were left divided when a video emerged that appears to show D'Amelio vaping. The video was not posted publicly, but surfaced on Twitter through unknown leaks.
It was shared by the online news account PerezHilton, and does appear to show the 16 year old TikTokker using a vape. Some people claimed it was an anti-anxiety pen, but those claims remain unclear.
Fans Devided into Two Sides
There appears to be a divided response as well. Some have argued that she is actually too young to be vaping, and that someone with an audience as significant as the TikTok star should not be promoting it to their fans, many of whom are younger than Charli herself. One even called D'Amelio's actions "illegal".
That’s true. Congress passed a federal Tobacco 21 law that went into effect on Dec. 20, 2019, when President Trump signed it into law. It requires a minimum age of 21 to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products, but the motivation behind the legislation was clearly concern over teen vaping. E-liquids contain nicotine — some as many as a full pack of cigarettes. In February, flavored vapes were officially banned.
However, many also defended the TikTok star. A common counter-argument was that the video had been leaked, so D'Amelio was in no way promoting it to her followers.
One said: "This is not abnormal 16-year-old behavior. She didn't endorse or promote it, and was under the impression this would be private. Whoever leaked this is gross."
Charli has not commented publicly on the video, with many users arguing there is no need to justify the video or explain it.