What’s happening: 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 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
I think I’m OK with this overall, but it’s a close call. The stuff about selling cartridges, and sharing news — it’s fine for that stuff to be out of the App Store because you can get it on the web. But Bluetooth stuff where apps were used as the interface for controlling hardware — web apps can’t do that (nor should they be able to). There is no alternative to a native app, and native apps are only available on the App Store. This would be an easy call to make (and would have been made from the get-go by Apple) if vaping were illegal. But it’s not illegal.