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Apple to remove vaping apps from store after latest CDC report

“We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps,” Apple says in a statement to Axios.

As Ars Technica notes, some of the apps provided news and information about vaping. Some were vaping-themed games. There were also apps that allowed users to adjust the temperature and other settings on their vaping devices.

So as not to mess anyone up, Apple will allow users who’ve already downloaded the vaping apps to keep using them and they can also transfer them to other devices. Apple also points out they have never hosted apps that actually sold vape cartridges.

This is not a flash out of the blue for Apple.Apple has been headed in this direction since June – when it stopped accepting new apps that promote vaping.

Full statement from Apple 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.”

An e-cigarette

An e-cigarette
Christopher Cornelius (CC BY 2.0)

Latest update from the CDC
In an update issued on Thursday, November 14, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that 2,172 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported from 49 states, with the exception of Alaska, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Forty-two deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia. All EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping products.

As was stated in a previous update last week, after analyzing lung fluid samples from 29 patients with vaping illness in 10 different states, the CDC found vitamin E acetate in all 29 samples.

“These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

The CDC still warns that while it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, the evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out the contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation, and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak.

The CDC recommends that you do not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products – especially from unofficial sources.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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