Apple Bans Vaping Apps on App Store After National Crisis

Apple on Friday said it is banning vaping-related apps from its App Store due to concerns that e-cigarette use can damage lungs or even kill people.

Apple

Apple on Friday said it is banning vaping-related apps from its App Store due to concerns that e-cigarette use can damage lungs or even kill people.

Apple vets what is allowed on the shelves of its virtual shop that serves as the sole outlet for apps available to its popular mobile devices, including some 900 million iPhones in use around the world.

“Recently, 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 an a youth epidemic,” Apple said in response to an AFP query prompted by an Axios report.

“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.”

People who already have the now-banned apps on their Apple gadgets will be able to continue using them.

Apple has pulled 181 vaping-related apps from the App Store worldwide. Tobacco along with vaping cartridges were never allowed at the virtual shop, so the apps involved social networks, news, games, hardware or stores, according to the California-based company.

“We are grateful that Apple is joining with us and others on this historic day to stand against big Vape and their lies by removing all vaping apps in the App Store,” American Heart Association chief executive Nancy Brown said in a released statement.

Read more: Trump considering crackdown on vaping

“Our hope is that others will follow our lead and follow with their own powerful message that nicotine and nicotine addiction caused by e-cigarette use are leaving thousands sick and dying across the globe.”

People who already have the now-banned apps on their Apple gadgets will be able to continue using them.

US President Donald Trump said this week that he plans to meet with vaping industry representatives as he considers whether to ban flavored e-cigarette products following a deadly epidemic of vaping-linked lung injuries.

Vaping, already criticized as a “gateway” to tobacco or other addiction, is facing unprecedented scrutiny amid a mysterious epidemic linked to e-cigarette use that has killed 39 and sickened more than 2,000 mostly young people in the US.

Vaping VS Cigarettes

According to John Hopkins Ciccarone Centre for the Prevention of Heart Diseases, here’s 5 facts you need to know about vaping:

E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While we don’t know exactly what chemicals are in e-cigarettes, Michael Blaha, Director at Ciccarone Centre, says “there’s almost no doubt that they expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes.”

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Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline.

Although they’ve been marketed as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.

But while experts have long warned of a youth vaping epidemic, 86% of patients suffering vaping-related lung disease reported using THC-containing products, according to the CDC data released Thursday, 24th October.

Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. In 2015, the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 percent, and 40 percent of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco.

Government Response

State and federal officials have announced a wave of anti-vaping policies, largely against nicotine-based products, in the midst of the outbreak.

A variety of states have moved to limit the sale of e-cigarettes, from an all-out ban on vaping products in Massachusetts to a prohibition on most flavored products in New York. Legal challenges filed by vape shop owners have threatened to derail those efforts, but a Massachusetts judge recently upheld the state’s emergency ban on e-cigarette sales.

In mid-September, President Donald Trump said federal officials would move to take flavored e-cigarettes off the market. Flavors have been particularly attractive to adolescents and more than 50 health and advocacy groups urged the administration to follow through on a flavor ban.

But while experts have long warned of a youth vaping epidemic, 86% of patients suffering vaping-related lung disease reported using THC-containing products, according to the CDC data released Thursday, 24th October. Just 11% of those injured reported exclusively using nicotine, which has been targeted by most state restrictions.

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