Apple last week removed all vaping-related apps from the App Store and updated App Store guidelines to prohibit apps that facilitate or encourage the use of vape-related devices.
Apple never allowed apps that sold vape cartridges, but it did allow apps that offered up vape-related news or provided controls for vape devices. Some companies, such as PAX, relied heavily on Apple’s App Store to add technology to vaporizer devices and those companies are unhappy with Apple’s recent ban.
PAX today penned a missive calling on Apple to rethink its decision as PAX creates several vaporizers that are designed to be controlled and customized through iOS and Android apps. The now-banned PAX Mobile app, for example, let PAX vaporizer users do things like adjust the vaporizer temperature, set parental controls, verify the authenticity of cartridges, and change the colors of the lights on the devices.
PAX says that while it respects Apple’s leadership, it is concerned with Apple’s ban because it prevents consumers in legal stages from “having access to important information and the ability to better control their cannabis experience.”
Apple decided to ban all vaping-related apps after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,172 lung injury cases linked to e-cigarette or vape products containing vitamin E acetate, found primarily in products “informally” sourced from friends, family, or in-person or online dealers.
In a statement, Apple said that it agrees with the CDC’s opinion that the spread of vaping devices is a “public health crisis and youth epidemic,” which is why the apps were pulled.
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.
According to PAX, it aims to deliver technology to allow adults to make “educated, informed choices.” The company cites its new PodID feature, which is designed to offer consumers “unprecedented access” to the information about what is in vape pods, including strain information, cannabinoid and terpene profiles, and access to state regulated test results, which could ultimately help vaporizer users avoid illicit and dangerous cartridges.
PAX says that it is hoping to work in partnership with Apple to reconsider the decision and make the PAX Mobile app available once again “in the interest of public health and safety.”
Those who have already downloaded the PAX Mobile app on iOS can continue to use it for the time being, and it’s still available on Android devices. PAX says that all PAX devices can be used without the app and temperature can be changed on the device alone.
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Tags: App Store, App Store Review Guidelines
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