With concerns about the dangers of e-cigarettes growing, Apple is taking a stand, reportedly banning all vaping apps from its App Store.
First reported by Axios, that means a total of 181 vaping apps will no longer be on the iPhone's App Store. In a statement to Axios Apple said: "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."
Vaping illnesses reaching crisis levels
The move on the part of Apple comes as thousands of people reported illnesses after vaping. The sickness has already resulted in 42 vaping related deathers. Apple said those who already downloaded the apps can continue to use them. It's not clear if Google will follow Apple's lead.
For weeks doctors and researchers rushed to figure out what was making people who vaped sick. They have now termed a condition: EVALI, which stands for e-cigarettes or vaping, product use associated lung injury. Most of the patients who got sick were vaping products that had THC in it, which is the component that makes you high from marijuana. Officials are blaming the lung disease on Vitamin E Acetate. The CDC said it was found in all 29 samples tested.
CDC traced illness to a vitamin e acetate
"These new findings are significant because, for the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern – vitamin e acetate – in biologic samples from patients with lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products," the CDC said on a conference call earlier in November. "These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin e acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs. and the samples reflect patients from states across the country.
Apple went on to say in its statement to Axios that it agrees with experts from the CDC to the American Heart Association which have said the spread of vaping products and e-cigarette devices has become a public health crisis, particularly for youths. "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," Apple said.