Apple Bans All Vaping Apps from its App Store


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: September 8, 2021

apple bans vape apps from the app store

Apple bans all vaping related apps from their app store, citing the recent health concerns and deaths the driving force for this move. The ban has already been put into action, though initially downloaded apps will continue running.


  • Apple on Friday banned all vaping apps from its app store amounting to a total of 181 apps
  • The variety of apps include games, store apps and hardware that users can controlthe heating and lighting of the vape pens
  • This ban will only target new apps and new phones, those that had initially downloaded it will not be affected.
  • The public has shown outcry of this ban expressing their anger on various social media platforms.

Tech giant Apple on Friday said it would be banning all vape-related apps from its App store amidst the health concerns and deaths that are linked to vaping.

This ban prevents developers from updating the apps while also new iPhone users will not be able to access any of the 181 apps. iPhone users that had installed them before the ban will continue using the downloaded apps, but the possibility of IOS updates might render them incompatible.

The Reason Behind This Move

According to Apple, this move was in sync with CDC’s findings and the ban was a move to keep the app store safe for all users, more so the teens who as per CDC were a major target of most flavored vaping products. All along, Apple does not allow and facilitate the sale or purchase of tobacco or vaping cartridges through its apps, but rather control abilities of lighting and heating of the vape pens.

Apple’s move does not come as a surprise to many as apple has already announced back in early 2017 that no new vaping apps were to be allowed to its app store.
In a recent statement to CNBC, Apple stated,

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.

And in another statement to Axios, Apple was quick to take its stand against vaping while also defending its recent move stating,

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.

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 tech giant added.

New Ban — new app store review guidelines

In its new app store review guidelines under the physical harm section, Apple states,

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.

Apple’s move comes at a time where an all-time high of the vaping related lung illness (EVALI) has affected a total of 2,172 people while raising the death toll to 42 according to CDCs latest report on Thursday. According to the recent report, THC is still the leading cause of all the cases according to patients that were interviewed by the CDC.

Well, the decision to ban vaping apps did not rest easy with many vaping enthusiasts calling it a joke with many expressing their opinion on twitter.

At the end of the day, the move will either set the pace for android developers to attract and modify their apps as much as possible to lure their Apple clientele or see android follow in the footsteps. Till then let’s all wait.
Banning vaping apps is not the best way to go forward with this.

Ideally, the app store is full of age-restricted apps that lockout many youths from accessing them, why wouldn’t they simply have an age barrier to these banned apps?

Published: November 17, 2019Updated: September 8, 2021

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


Leave a comment

2 comments on “Apple Bans All Vaping Apps from its App Store

  • David Crais

    July 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Are ios cannabis vape apps banned from the App Store in Europe too?

    • James Bickford

      July 30, 2020 at 5:04 am

      Hi David, unfortunately all vaping apps were removed from the App Store, and there are no signs that they will be coming back anytime soon. But, fortunately, Pax came out with a Web-based App – – for iOS users to control their Pax device like the Pax 3 or Pax ERA. Not sure if you have the Pax or something else, but given their popularity and demand, I think other companies will follow Pax’s lead and create their own web-based apps as well. Hope this helps.