Apple is removing all 181 vaping-related apps from the App Store. This is the result of mounting health concerns about the impact of e-cigarettes.
At least 42 people have died as the result of vaping-related lung illnesses. Apple, it seems, does not want to be in any way responsible for contributing to any more.
“We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps,” Apple said in a statement to Axios.
“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[.]”
Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines to reflect the fact that “apps encouraging or facilitating” vaping are no longer permitted.
Vaping and the App Store
This isn’t the first time Apple has shown its distaste for vaping. Apple has never allowed apps which sell vape cartridges inside the app. In June, it stopped accepting new pro-vaping apps.
Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, praised Apple’s decision to ban pro-vape apps. “By taking e-cigarette related apps off the App Store, Apple will help reduce youth exposure to e-cigarette marketing and discourage youth use of these products,” Myers said. “Apple is setting a welcome example of corporate responsibility in protecting our kids.”