Following months of mystery surrounding vaping-related illnesses and deaths, Apple has made the decision to remove all vaping-related apps from the App Store, Axios reports.
While Apple has never allowed apps within the App Store that market vaping-related products, it has allowed apps that serve as news sources on vaping to exist on the store as well as apps that can control the lighting and temperature control of vaping devices, and even control how much vaping liquid is burned in a single session on the device.
On Friday, November, 15, Apple said it was going to remove all of the vaping-related apps from the App Store in the name of safety. An Apple representative sent the following statement to Axios:
“We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps. We’re constantly evaluating apps, and consulting the latest evidence, to determine risks to users’ health and well-being.
“Recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic.
“We agree, and we’ve updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted. As of today, these apps are no longer available to download.”
If you already have a vaping-related app installed on your iOS device then the app will remain on the device and remain functional until you choose to delete it. While the apps will remain functional, however, manufacturers will not be able to push out updates to those existing apps.
According to the CDC, more than 39 people have died and over 2,000 have become ill from vaping-related lung illnesses this year. The ongoing health crisis has led municipalities and states to ban some (or all) vaping products. The Trump Administration plans to enact a nationwide ban on flavored vaping products, though it’s not clear when that would go into effect.
Last week, the CDC announced that it has identified the cause of the illnesses to be Vitamin E acetate. The compound is used frequently in food and cosmetic products but causes damage to human lungs when inhaled. The majority of the illnesses occurred in individuals that were vaping using THC products, while a few involved nicotine users.
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