In an effort to cease the promotion of vape culture with related deaths on the rise, Apple has announced that it will no long offer vape-related apps for iPhones.
On Friday the tech giant removed 181 vape apps from the app store and will not allow any more in the future. Before that, there were apps that let users check vape news, share vaping photos and even control the temperature of vape pens.
The removal of these apps is something that tech watchers and doctors call a good move. More than one in four high school students, or 27.5%, reported using e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days, according to the preliminary results for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual National Youth Tobacco Survey.
“There’s no upside for supporting vaping, given what the current research is saying,” said Dr. Matt Cabott, a San Jose State social media professor. “Apple does not want to have anything to do with this.”
Dr. Robert Jackler of Stanford Medical School said this is a good start to help wean young people off of vaping.
“They live in a world of apps and social media connections,” Jackler said. “Having it in the app store combined with social media like Instagram and Facebook and Tik Tok make it part of youth culture and have contributed to the novelty and interest in vaping among American students.”
Apple released a statement citing experts from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association attributing lung injuries and fatalities to vaping products, calling it a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. Apple said it agrees.
The only exception to the removal of vape-related apps is for users who have already downloaded them – Apple said they will not be deleted.