Apple to remove all vaping related apps from its store

Apple removes all vape related apps from the app store in a move to promote better health and discourage teens and kids utilizing vaping related apps.
Apple removes all vape related apps from the app store in a move to promote better health and discourage teens and kids utilizing vaping related apps. Photo: Sarah Johnson/Pixabay

Apple steps out against vaping

Apple has made the decision to remove all vape and e-cigarette related apps from its store, despite some users showing upset over the decision. On November 15, 2019, all 181 vape related apps on the store have since disappeared from its store. Perhaps this decision was made in an abundance of caution to keep minors and teens from utilizing the apps and encouraging their vaping addictions and behaviors.

Mixed emotions amongst the people

The apps in which Apple decided to delete varied in content, however, some of the more useful and downright important apps to most users were the ones that controlled vape settings, such as temperature and strength, and many people are firing back at the company, expressing sincere distaste for the decision to remove the apps.

Other people, like Erika Sward, Vice President of the American Lung Association, states her opinion on the matter in an interview with the Washington Post,” Our phones are our lifelines for so many things, but we don’t want them to become a line to tobacco usage.”

The illness: what it is

Since June, a severe vaping illness known as EVALI has swept the nation, with 42 deaths linked to vaping and 2,172 people having been hospitalized with pneumonia-like symptoms, some life-threatening, as of November 13th.

The illness has caused vape users’ lungs to show a build-up of fat and other issues within, making it extremely difficult to breathe. The CDC has identified a potential culprit behind the vape related illness, which is believed to be Vitamin E Acetate. The majority of people infected with EVALI have gotten sick when using THC enhanced vape tools.

Apple removed close to 200 vape related apps on the app store on November 15th.
Apple removed close to 200 vape related apps on the app store on November 15th. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Boatloads of criticism won’t stop Apple

Apple won’t comment on all of the criticism they are facing, nor will they offer any explanations to anyone as to why – but it appears they made the decision to remove the apps based upon the fact that they genuinely want what’s best for its customers.

Apple brings in billions of dollars per year – making this decision may hurt their pocketbook a bit, but their integrity clearly means more.

Not all is lost, though: those who already have vape apps pre-installed on their phones will indeed be able to continue using their apps and even install it on all new devices they choose in the future.

In a statement made to Axios by Apple, they 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.”

Apple has not approved any new vape apps since June, a move speculated upon by many due to the fact that they had been planning on pulling apps all this time.
Apple has not approved any new vape apps since June, a move speculated upon by many due to the fact that they had been planning on pulling apps all this time. Photo: Apple

Is vaping truly a better alternative?

Personally, I think this is a fabulous move in the right direction. It’s unfortunate for those who vape and will no longer have access to the apps they may have wanted to download, but in the grand scheme of things, this is the best possible move they could make for everyone – especially teens and children.

Vape companies market their devices as something that’s a safer, better alternative to smoking cigarettes – but is it truly a better option?

As a former smoker and vape user myself, I can honestly tell you that vaping was far more addictive than cigarettes because it was always accessible. I could use it while sitting at my desk while driving, and even while shopping if I wanted to. I think the fact that it’s so accessible causes further addiction, and bigger problems in the long run.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s decision to pull these apps from their store, and on vaping in general? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.

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