Apple is removing all vaping apps from its online store.
As more deaths and injuries related to the smoking product continue to be reported around the country on Friday, the iPhone maker is removing all apps designed to promote vaping and e-cigarettes from its App Store, reads a new report from Axios.
The move comes after numerous reports of lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes, which has affected thousands in the U.S. and has resulted in 42 deaths, according to CDC.
While Apple hasn’t allowed the sale of vaping-related products directly from its apps, the app store contains numerous vaping-related apps — 181 in total. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the apps were removed on Friday.
“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 and a youth epidemic,” said an Apple spokesperson. “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 president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Matthew L. Myers, applauds Apple for taking the step to ban the apps.
“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,” said Myers. “Apple is setting a welcome example of corporate responsibility in protecting our kids.”
Apple, however, isn’t going so far as to clamp down on existing users of vaping apps. Those who already have a vaping-related app downloaded to their device will continue being able to use it, Axios reported.