Apple has removed all apps relating to vaping from the App Store, citing warnings from health experts that the spread of vaping products and e-cigarettes constitutes a “public health crisis and a youth epidemic.”
“[We’ve] updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted,” said Apple in a press statement. “As of today, these apps are no longer available to download.”
The iPhone maker stopped accepting new vaping apps in June, and it has never allowed the sale of e-cigarette refills or vaping cartridges on its platform. A total of 181 apps have been removed from the App Store, including games and companion apps that let users control things like lighting and heating on vaping devices. Apps already downloaded will remain usable.
Apple’s actions come at a time when concerns about vaping products have ramped up in response to a mysterious vaping-related lung injury that’s killed at least 42 people. The exact causes of the injury are unknown, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that a chemical thickener added to vaping products might be involved.
Before this wave of lung injuries, there were other concerns about e-cigarettes and vaping products. These included dangers from exploding batteries and seizures and high levels of vaping among teenagers. Last December, the US surgeon general declared youth vaping a “public health epidemic.”
Apple says its decision to remove vaping products from the App Store was directly triggered by warnings such as this. You can read the company’s full statement, via Axios, below:
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.