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Apple is this morning removing all vaping apps from the App Store following yesterday’s CDC report that says that 42 people in the US have died from lung disease associated with e-cigarette use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that there were a further 2,172 cases of severe respiratory illnesses among those who vaped either nicotine or cannabis products…

Update: More information at the bottom of the piece

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Axios reports.

Amid growing health concerns over e-cigarettes, Apple will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its mobile App Store this morning, Axios has learned […]

The company has never allowed the sale of vape cartridges directly from apps. But there were apps that let people control the temperature and lighting of their vape pens, and others provided vaping-related news, social networks and games.

Apple has been headed in this direction since June, when it stopped accepting new apps that promote vaping. Those who already have a vaping-related app on their iPhone will be able to continue using the app and install it on new devices […]

Apple in a statement to Axios: “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.

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.

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 CDC report says that more work is needed to determine the specific causes and that people should consider refraining from all usage of e-cigarette or vaping products.

We understand that Apple was particularly concerned by data showing that more than five million children now use e-cigarettes. It is taking action under App Store review guideline 1.4.3:

Apps that encourage consumption of tobacco and vape products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted on the App Store. Apps that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Facilitating the sale of marijuana, tobacco, or controlled substances (except for licensed pharmacies) isn’t allowed.

The American Heart Association has welcomed the move.

“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,” said Nancy Brown, CEO American Heart Association.  “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.”

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