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11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Suffering Cardiac Arrest During ‘Chroming’ Social Media Challenge

An 11-year-old boy from the United Kingdom has died after huffing toxic chemicals in a social media challenge known as “chroming” — and his devastated family wants the social media company shut down and all others barred from children under 16.

Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington suffered a suspected cardiac arrest at a friend’s house in Lancaster on Saturday, according to the Times of London.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died.

“He died instantly after a sleepover at a friend’s house. The boys had tried the TikTok craze ‘chroming,’” said the boy’s grandmother, Tina Burns.

“Tommie-Lee went into cardiac arrest immediately and died right there and then. The hospital did everything to try and bring him back but nothing worked. He was gone.”

“He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated,” she added.

Chroming involves inhaling the fumes from common household items like aerosol cans, nail polish remover, paint solvents and cleaning products to get high, while teens film the process and results to post online.

The practice can cause serious brain damage, suffocation, cardiac arrest and more with just one huff. The trend has led to numerous teen deaths around the world — and has spiked in popularity from the prevalence of chroming videos on social media.

Tommie-Lee’s family thinks the social media platform needs to “do more” to keep users safe, and should even be shut down to prevent other kids from dying.

“Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing,” Burns said, referring to the family of Tommie-Lee’s friend.

“We don’t want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media.”

“In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age. This is breaking us all but we want to help save other children’s lives and give families awareness to keep their children safe.”

TikTok has faced criticism for the prevalence of dangerous teen trends on the platform.

During a January hearing, the leaders of four prominent social media platforms — including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Instagram, and Shou Chew of TikTok — were grilled by the US Senate Judiciary Committee over the safety of their platforms.

That hearing was part of a push to pass the “Kids Online Safety Act,” which would require social media companies to take aggressive actions to target dangerous and predatory behavior on their platforms.

  • John sweet says:

    In my day it was called “Huffing” and the results are irreversible brain and lung damage tic tok needs to be banned from our social media networks for safety!

  • CandygramForMongo says:

    Tic tok should be banned from every country aside from China
    Chinese spyware!!!! Sue the assholes who posted the challenge…….phucking idiots!!!!

  • Ted says:


  • Dorothy says:

    I blame the parents and guardians for this horrible tragedy. I would make sure I am right there and would never let my child go on social media even if it is popular. They are crazy, evil people lurking everywhere. You have to keep your eyes wide open to protect them. How could parents let their children to participate in this craziness. You are not sending good signals to your child.

  • Angie says:

    Nope, parents need to parent. Kids do not need access to social media period. Parents sit their kids infront of computers, tablets, and phones instead of paying attention to their kids. Put down the devices and do something crafty, outdoor, or educational WITH your kids.



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