Apple has removed all apps related to evaporation from the App Store, citing health experts' warnings that the spread of evaporative products and e-cigarettes is a "public health crisis and youth epidemic".
“[We’ve] has updated our Store Review Guidelines to reflect that applications that encourage or facilitate the use of these products are not permitted, "Apple said in a press release. "As of today, these applications are no longer available for download."
The iPhone maker stopped accepting new vaping applications in June, and never allowed the sale of filled e-cigarettes or vaping cartridges on its platform. A total of 181 apps have been removed from the App Store, including games and associated apps that allow users to control things like lighting and heating their evaporators. Apps already downloaded will remain usable.
Apple's actions come at a time when concerns about evaporative products have risen in response to the mysterious evaporation of lungs that has killed at least 42 people. The exact causes of the injury are unknown, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that a chemical thickener added to the evaporative products could be included.
Prior to this wave of lung injuries, there were other concerns about e-cigarettes and evaporation products. These include the dangers of battery explosion and seizures and high levels of evaporation in teens. Last December, the US surgeon-general declared the young man a public health epidemic.
Apple says its decision to remove products that evaporate from the app store was directly triggered by warnings such as this one. You can read the full statement of the company through Axios, below:
We strive to make the App Store a trusted place for customers, especially young people, to download apps. We constantly evaluate applications and consult the latest evidence to identify risks to users' health and well-being.
Recently, experts moving from CDC to the American Heart Association attributed various injuries and deaths to the lungs of e-cigarettes and vapor products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic.
We agree and have updated the App Store Review Guide to reflect that applications that encourage or facilitate the use of these products are not permitted. As of today, these applications are no longer available for download.