Apple has purged its App Store of 181 vaping apps, citing a rash of current reviews about vaping-related accidents and deaths.

As of Friday, vaping-related apps will now not be allowed on the service, Axios first reported. Apple confirmed to Gizmodo that customers who’ve downloaded vape apps will nonetheless be capable to use them and switch them to new Apple units. In an announcement, Apple stated that it has up to date its App Store tips to incorporate language barring apps that encourage the use of vape merchandise.

“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,” Apple stated. “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.”

Apple’s new App Store overview guideline now prohibits apps encouraging “consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol,” apps that encourage the use of these substances by minors, and any apps that facilitate “the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies).”

Apple stated it has not accepted any new vaping apps for inclusion in the App Store since June after it added vape merchandise to an inventory of issues which are barred from being promoted by the service. While Apple stated it has by no means allowed vape cartridges to be bought by the App Store, the apps obtainable for obtain included issues like retailer apps, video games, information, social media, and apps that permit a consumer to manage settings on their vaping units.

A variety of distinguished vape firms have apps that have been beforehand obtainable in the Apple App Store. Cannabis vape-maker Pax, for instance, has an app for controlling vapor and taste output, temperature, locking the system, and firmware updates. That app has been scrubbed from the service. Juul, in the meantime, has an app for its Juul C1 system obtainable in Canada. That app is solely obtainable on Android, however job listings appeared to point the firm was exploring an iOS app.

A Pax spokesperson stated in an announcement to Gizmodo that the firm is “very concerned and disappointed that Apple has made the decision to remove our app from its store,” including that its app allowed tens of millions of customers in the 34 states the place hashish is, to 1 diploma or one other, authorized, “to ensure dose control and correct temperature of their tested, legally purchased cannabis.”

Federal regulators have discovered that the overwhelming majority of vaping-related sickness and demise are linked to blackmart THC vapes—not e-cigarettes. Pax argues that its app assist customers keep away from harmful merchandise, not the different method round. “Additionally, in the wake of the vaping sicknesses, our app supplies shoppers detailed details about what’s contained of their product, together with outcomes of state-regulated testing and compliance, terpene and cannabinoid profiles, and different info that allows the educated, knowledgeable and secure consumption of authorized hashish,” the Pax spokesperson concluded.

Juul didn’t instantly returned a request for remark.

It’s not clear whether or not Google will observe go well with, and the firm didn’t return our inquiry about its plans. Should it resolve to ban these apps, nevertheless, it could throw a wrench into not less than certainly one of Juul’s concepts for protecting its merchandise out of the fingers of youngsters by requiring an age verification app to unlock them. That would imply it’s again to the drafting board, people.

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