Crystal Bar’s vape giant deletes all traces of nicotine. After giveaways on TikTok, there is no age verification.

After participating in an online promotion and distributing vapes to reporters without first verifying their ages, the second-largest vape firm in the UK shut down its social media accounts.

Crystal Bar disposable vapes, which are sold by SKE, a company that is controlled by the Chinese government, have witnessed a fast rise in sales while receiving criticism for being enticing to youngsters.

Serge Davies, who is the head of marketing for SKE, claimed in an exclusive interview that the accounts had been taken down for a “review.”

SKE has also expressed regret for not participating in the recycling programs offered by the government.

In the United Kingdom, you can buy Crystal Bar disposable vapes almost everywhere, including supermarkets, newsagents, and vape stores. Disposable vapes, which are designed to emit a few hundred puffs of nicotine-containing vapor and then be discarded after use, have witnessed an incredible surge in popularity over the last few years.

According to newly released statistics from data provider NielsenIQ, the Chinese business SKE, which is partially owned by the state and manufactures Crystal Bar, is now the second largest seller of vapes in the United Kingdom. In the last year, SKE sold more than 30 million units. The data provided by Nielsen do not include independent merchants or vape shops; hence, it is believed that SKE’s actual sales total is more than 100 million.

It launched an online contest on the instant messaging network Discord last month, and it marketed it through its Instagram page. Giving away free samples was a significant factor in the company’s climb to prominence. It all started as a platform for gamers, and there are a considerable number of users that are under the age of eighteen on Discord.

A screenshot from Discord shows a reporter from the BBC taking first place in the competition.

IMAGE SOURCE, SKE/DISCORD Source:

Caption for the image,

A screenshot from Discord shows a reporter from the BBC taking first place in the competition.

Reporters from BBC took part in the competition. They had to affirm that they were above the age of 18, but there were no further requirements for verification. After that, we sent two vapes in the mail.

It is against the law to sell e-cigarettes to anybody under the age of 18.

Some of SKE’s social media profiles, including its YouTube and TikTok channels, were turned off awaiting a “review” when the BBC made contact with the company.

“We’re seeking to relaunch them with a local social media firm that has more of a knowledge of the local laws and the local traditions,” Serge Davies, SKE’s European communications director, told the BBC. “We’re trying to relaunch them with a local social media company that has more of an understanding of the local laws, the local customs.”

Both the Chinese business Elfbar and the UK-listed company BAT, which is responsible for producing Vuse vapes, have said that they do not create anything on TikTok. SKE’s largest competitors. This is due, in part, to the high probability that the content may end up on the mobile devices of youngsters.

SKE, on the other hand, remains dedicated to the platform. Mr. Davies said that in the near future, “we will be seeking to relaunch with an exciting new approach on TikTok.” It has also vowed to maintaining the free-to-use vape giveaways. According to what he had to say, “It does appear to produce a lot of interest in the brand as well as a lot of enthusiasm for everybody.”

Mr. Davies responded as follows when he was asked if he could defend a specific video from SKE’s TikTok feeds: “None of our rules are aimed towards marketing to minors. The video in question showed a Crystal Bar being opened to a soundtrack stating, “I wish that I could be like the cool kids.” What we do with the [social media] accounts is simply attempt to generate up a bit of a buzz really, and that’s really all we’re going for.”

Serge Davies, who works for SKE

The caption for this image states that SKE’s Serge Davies said that the company was seeking to revamp some of its social media profiles.

“It is really disturbing to learn that vapes might easily slip into the hands of minors because sufficient checks are not being done,” said Steve Brine, the head of the health select committee, who is a member of the House of Commons and chairs the committee.

“Responsible manufacturers should not be promoting giveaway programs that may operate as a green signal to children to begin vaping when what they need is protection from possibly dangerous consequences,” says one article. “Giveaway schemes can work as a green light to children to begin vaping.”

Reusing old materials

Disposable vapes include electrical components, such as a tiny battery, which make recycling them challenging and costly. It is not uncommon to come across discarded vaporizers, and several city governments have voiced support for a ban on the devices.

Vape firms, like all other manufacturers of electronic items, are legally required to register their products with recycling programs that need producers to pay a portion of the overall cost of recycling. Up until this month, SKE had not registered with these plans, nor had it made the projected contributions of around 100,000 pounds.

According to Mr. Davies, the company has expressed regret for this matter, which he attributed to a “communications failure.”

He said, “We are delighted that you brought it to our attention, and we have now signed up for the required schemes.”

This month, SKE established a firm for the first time in the United Kingdom, and the documents filed at Companies House reveal that the (SASAC) has “major influence.” On behalf of the Chinese government, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFAC) manages investments.

According to the company’s annual report, Shenzhen Yinghe Technology Co. owns SKE. Shanghai Electric Co. is Shenzhen Yinghe Technology Co.’s biggest shareholder. Shanghai Electric Co. is, in turn, more than 50% held by companies tied to the Chinese state.

Yinghe disclosed to its shareholders the previous year that it had failed to meet its vape sales objectives owing to a crackdown by the Chinese government. The company said that it was concentrating on expanding its business internationally in order to make up the difference. The United Kingdom is currently its company’s most important market in Europe.

On sale now are SKE Crystal Bars.

Gummy bears candies

In China, the only vape flavors that are allowed to be sold legally are tobacco and menthol, however in the UK, SKE offers a bewildering array of flavors. As part of the Discord giveaway, BBC reporters received Vimbull Ice and Watermelon Ice, which had a flavor combination similar to that of Red Bull and Vimto.

Some of the flavors, including Gummy Bear, are named after candies that have come under fire because of concerns that they are likely to appeal to youngsters. Mr. Davies indicated that SKE intended to keep selling them. He said, “You have to take into consideration the fact that many Gummy Bears are offered to adults.” He went on to say that it was up to law enforcement to stop the sale of e-cigarettes to young people.

Mr. Brine, who chairs the Health Committee, said that their investigation revealed that “we do not feel the vaping sector has gone far enough to guarantee that its products do not appeal to youngsters.”

“The marketing is intended to appeal to people of precisely this age range, and it does so by using vivid colors and flavors that are reminiscent of unicorns, sweets, or popular carbonated beverages. We want there to be controls on marketing methods and packaging that are comparable to those that are already in place for tobacco goods.

Mr. Davies said that SKE has established a headquarters in Manchester, was recruiting additional staff members, and growing even though many people anticipate that disposable vapes would be prohibited in the near future.

He said, “We are here to stay,” and I quote: “

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