Apple has gotten too good for vaping. Now that the super tech giant has a bunch of fancy movie star friends at its streaming service Apple TV +, including the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Jason Mamoa, and Snoopy the dog, it can’t afford to be seen with its friends from the wrong side of the tracks like vaping apps.
At least that’s one way to interpret a new policy change at Apple. The company has booted off all vaping-related apps from its App Store. True, you can’t actually vape with an iPhone app, but there were apps that would allow users to connect it to a vaping device in order to control temperature and other variables.
They were such apps, but as of Friday there aren’t any more. While people will still be able to use any apps they already have on their phone, they won’t be able to download new ones off the App Store.
Unsurprisingly, the move is a reaction to the rash of vaping-related illnesses and deathsin recent months. Apple released a statement to Axios, which broke the story, saying:
“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.
“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.”
The decision has been a long time coming. In June, the company blocked new vaping-related apps from being added to their store, but left existing ones alone for now.
The change in policy has been greeted with enthusiasm by health advocates. Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told Axios, “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds Apple for taking this important step and doing its part to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic.”
“By taking e-cigarette related apps off the App Store, Apple will help reduce youth exposure to e-cigarette marketing and discourage youth use of these products. Apple is setting a welcome example of corporate responsibility in protecting our kids.”
Photo via Flickr/Toshiyuki IMAI