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Apple bans vaping apps from the App Store

Nick Summers
Senior Editor

Vaping apps are no longer allowed in Apple's walled garden. In a statement given to Axios, the company confirmed that its App Store guidelines now ban software that encourages or helps people to vape. Any application that served such a person should no longer be available for download. If you already have a vaping app installed, however, you won't lost access and should be able to download it again on new devices, according to Axios.

"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," an Apple spokesperson said. "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."

The decision follows a flurry of mysterious vaping-linked illnesses across the US. At the time of writing, there have been 2,172 cases and 42 deaths. CDC, the FDA and other medical experts are investigating the outbreak of vape-related lung injuries and revealed last week that vitamin E acetate could be to blame. The group's work is still ongoing, though, and its official advice is to avoid any e-cigarette or vape product that contains THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects.

"Particularly from informal sources like friends or family, online dealers or the illicit market," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC said last week. "Until the relationship between Vitamin E acetate and lung health is better characterized, it's important that Vitamin E acetate not be added to e-cigarette or vaping products."

Vape apps can help users in a number of different ways. Some point you to nearest vape store, while others include kit guides and e-juice calculators.

We've asked Google if it will be matching Apple's stance in the Play Store.