The number of vaping illnesses in the U.S. is still rising. And thus Apple takes the initiative to remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store.
The outbreak appears to have started in March and peaked in late summer with at least 42 people’s death but there is often a lag in reporting. Of the latest cases, the CDC says less than half are people hospitalized with lung damage in the last few weeks.
What is Vaping? Vaping is the inhaling of vapor that is created by an electronic cigarette (eCigarette) or other vaping devices. eCigarettes are smoking devices that are battery-powered smoking with cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales and thus using eCigarettes is called "vaping."
Now, health experts are reporting serious lung damage in people who vape, including some deaths. In an initiative towards health concerns, Apple has pulled all vaping-related apps from the App Store, reports Axios. However, Apple device users who’ve already downloaded the apps will be able to continue using them.
Apple has never allowed the distribution of vaping apps on its App Store that enables people to buy vaping products. But in the past, it did allow apps that served as hubs for news and information about vaping or even allowed users to control the lighting or temperature of their vaping devices.
We’ve updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted. - Apple told CNBC in a statement.
The move comes after at least 42 people have died from a vaping-related lung illness, per the CDC. Most of them who had been using cartridges containing THC, though there are some who exclusively use nicotine cartridges.