Apple removes vaping apps from App Store
Apple iPhone 5S models displayed in an Apple store on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. EFE / Kay Nietfeld / Archive
San Francisco, Nov 15 (EFE).- Apple Inc announced Friday the removal of all apps related to electronic cigarettes from its mobile App Store amid concerns about the health effects of vaping.
The 181 apps affected by the decision include ones allowing users to control the lighting and temperature of e-cigs, as well as apps that offered access to vaping-related news, social networks and games.
The measure will only affect potential future users, Apple said, as customers who have already installed any of the apps on their iPhones can continue using them and even transfer them to new devices.
"Recently, experts ranging from the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 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," the company said in a statement.
"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.
The 181 vaping-related apps removed represented only 0.0001 percent of the total that can be found in the App Store, the Cupertino, California-based giant said.
Apple never accepted apps for the sale of vape cartridges and had not accepted any additional vaping-related apps since June.
E-cigarettes have faced increasing restrictions on sale the state and local level, while President Donald Trump has ordered a federal ban on the sale and marketing of flavored vape cartridges.
On Thursday, the CDC reported that the number of deaths in the US from vaping-related lung injuries has reached 42, while more than 2,000 other people have suffered non-fatal damage to their lungs.