Apple’s Knee Jerk Reaction to Ban Vaping Apps

It’s totally fair to say that Apple has a very spotty record with its App Store management. Especially with app approval and rejection. And here’s another one that’s beyond the pale. Not as bad as the HKmap.live app embarrassment. But it is in the same knee jerky, dumb assery, short sighted, premature moves, ill informed department.

Vaping “Crisis” ?

This all started beause there have been some shocking and very serious health problems that have been connected to vaping. Lung damage and deaths from something that most informed people thought was fairly harmless, except for products with nicotine – more on that later.

When the things we think won’t hurt us, do hurt us, that’s when we freak out. And sometimes for good reason. But not this time. This is one of those times that require reason and crticial thinking. Not freak outs.

What’s Happening !!!???

Here’s the problem. Health professionals don’t yet know what the hell is going on.

The CDC has been trying to figure out what’s happening for months. No one is certain what the cause is, or even if it was really caused by vaping. The CDC only about a week and a half ago announced that they think they MIGHT have found the cause.

“For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern: vitamin E acetate,”

Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC’s principal deputy director

Hopefully they can soon confirm that. And before that, health professionals investigating the cause suspected black market illegal THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). And that THC was a more common element with patients, than nicotine or other vape products were.

Vitamin E acetate resembles THC oil. So it could be that illegal products are cutting the THC with this, to increase profits.

It’s all just starting to make sense. The key phrase there being, just starting.

If the cause is vitamin E acetate then – and that’s still an IF at this point – then most or probably all legal vaping products are in the clear because they don’t contain vitamin E acetate. Including legal THC products.

Illegal THC products could contain who knows what. Bad stuff like vitamin E acetate, pesticides, mold, mildew, artificial flavorings, synthetic cannabinoids, heavy metals – yikes.

Vaping can help you stop smoking. Millions have died from smoking. Over 40 million people vape and according to the CDC 42 people have died as of Nov 13. This is starting to look like misplaced rage – perhaps even manufactured rage.

To be clear, the concern about kids vaping is absolutely right. It should be illegal everywhere for minors to buy vape products. But adults should not be restricted. As long as health professionals can continue to confirm that vape products are less harmful than cigarettes.

Vaping Can Help You Stop Smoking

If you don’t know this and you’ve passed judgement against vaping, then shame on you. You’re part of the uninformed, knee jerk mafia. And also, stop that !!!

I know people who have been able to stop smoking by switching to vaping with nicotine. Some have even weaned themselves off nicotine completely, and off vaping too.

This is why Juul products have very high levels of nicotine. Way way higher than the majority of what people vape with nicotine in it. In the ballpark of cigarettes, SO that you can use it to quit smoking, by replacing the most additive part of cigarettes – the nicotine. And perhaps that’s why Juul is so popular. Because it can help some people quit smoking.

Most vape juices don’t even go anyway near the nicotine levels of cigarettes or nicotine salt based products like Juul. And most vape juices are available without any nicotine at all. Again, if you didn’t know that and judged, shame shame.

Apple Is Wrong

In a statement to Axios last week, Apple said:

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.

Apple

The experts haven’t concluded anything yet. And by the by, vaping isn’t illegal. But evidence so far from by the CDC indicates that illegal products might be the cause.

Smoking and alcohol kill millions. Vaping can help people stop smoking, saving lives. Yet Apple allows alcohol related apps in the App Store. A bushel of apps that offer alcohol drink recipes. And at least 1 app that – no friggin’ kiddin’ – that allows you to order alcohol and have it delivered !!! That’s all the app does. Not get any kind of groceries delivered, plus alcohol – and there’s a bunch of those apps too. Just alcohol !!!

So is Apple promoting alcohol, which kills people ? Of course not !!! So then, why would allowing vaping apps be that ? It isn’t.

Apple Could Put Companies Out of Business

Less of a concern than health, of course, is hurting businesses. Some vape hardware products are designed around an app that lets you control them.

Once you go past the simple products like Juul, most vape hardware products have lots of controls and variables, giving you tons of control over the experience. They actually have built in software or firmware. Most have the controls built into the hardware. Controls like buttons and, no kidding, touch screens. It’s really quite innovative.

PAX Vape Device Could Be Hurt By Apple’s Decision to Pull Vape Apps

Some use an app to control it. Like PAX who is appealing to Apple to rethink its decision (MacRumors). The PAX blog post with their appeal to Apple, sure does have the right title – Apple, Cannabis, and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Check out some of the comments on that MacRumors post.

The problem was an ingredient (Vitamin E acetate I believe) in black market THC vape cartridges. Banning all of them, when it had nothing to do with the ones that are regulated is dumb. I don’t even use vapes but Apple should reconsider this.

Kyle4

I’m by far the biggest fan boy. But this is the dumbest thing Apple has ever done.

Amacfa

So will Apple be ok when Marijuana is legal and being sold in stores. With apps relating to it? Just a matter of time when it’s legal imo. Apple doesn’t ban alcohol apps. How to make drinks. What’s so different about a vaping app to control your pen?

x-evil-x

I don’t think it is Apple’s place to try to interfere here. It sets a bad precedent; today, it’s vaping apps. What if something else that Apple’s board thinks is morally questionable comes along? That’ll get banned from the App Store too. They’ve already done this with pornography, but that isn’t as big a deal because you can access that over the web using Safari.

zorinlynx

Well said….

Update: And Now for Some Comedy – The Macalope Style

After publishing this article and catching up on The Macalope, I came across this – Dangerous lifestyles: You’re not my dad, Apple.

Apple’s banning of vaping apps, of course, does not affect the Macalope at all. And he’d never want Apple to risk the security of iOS by allowing any app into the store. But adults should be able to make adult choices. The Macalope would rather be able to make them without having to switch to Android to do it. He’s certainly not going to do that. His lifestyle of donuts and drinking is dangerous enough.

The Macalope
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Ken Adams

Writer, software engineer, Agile coach, Scrum Master. Check out my LinkedIn profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethbadams

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