Apple disses millions of vapers

Apple tells British vaping forum it can’t upgrade its “tobacco-related" iOS app


Does Apple no longer want the business of millions of vapers around the world? It seems that the world’s foremost technology company can’t distinguish between smoking and nicotine use.

Planet of the Vapes (POTV), a British vaping site that also hosts a well-known forum, was just notified that Apple wouldn’t allow an update of its three-year-old iOS forum app. They were told Apple will accept no updates for existing apps and no new apps that contain nicotine-related content.

After submitting the update in November, POTV received a notice two days ago that stated, “We found that your app facilitates the sale or promotes the use of tobacco or nicotine-related paraphernalia, including but not limited to cigarettes, pipes, hookahs, and/or e-cigarettes, which is not permitted on the App Store.”

POTV wrote Apple, explaining the difference between smoking and vaping, and got a response by phone from the app review team, during which they were told that “due to a recent change in policy any apps that contain content relating to nicotine and tobacco, including e-cigarettes and vaping would not be allowed.”

“We are not accepting any tobacco or nicotine content at all now.”

After asking for a confirmation from a higher-up, they received another phone call, during which the earlier information was confirmed. An employee named Erica told POTV, “Yes, this is a change in policy. From time to time policies do change. In the past this was fine but we are not accepting any tobacco or nicotine content at all now. This will be for new and updated apps.”

Neither of the Apple employees would explain the reasoning behind the policy change. The concerted anti-vaping campaign conducted by American tobacco control and public health is the likely reason, along with the FDA deeming regulations that classified e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

Apple may regret annoying millions of vapers. Surely among the 10 million or so in the U.S. — and several times that many around the world — are many, many iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. I know that when my contract is up, I’ll be looking into alternatives to an iPhone.

What about you? Would you switch platforms because of Apple’s backward policy on nicotine and vaping?

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.
  • Jeremy

    Guess I am sticking with Sammy.

  • Emile

    Too bad there was no option in the poll for: I never liked Apple and now I have a reason for it.

    • Jim McDonald

      Great answer!

  • Murray_B

    Apple has always known how to manipulate people for profit. Anti-vaper bigotry can work for them as long as most people continue to believe that vaping is harmful.
    There are still millions that believe the nonsense about Apple making the first personal computer back in 1976. Even after more than forty years most people still believe in the Apple PC fantasy despite the ease of obtaining the facts. Apple knows that facts do not matter very much as long as they have good propaganda.

  • Olaf

    Thank you for picking up this topic! It’s a pity that the people can’t see the difference
    between vaping and traditional cigarettes. Thank you FDA!

  • Thomas Ray Odaniels

    I already b4 this couldnt stand Apple or Windows……Theyres wayyyy cooler stuff for a fraction of the cost……Why dont they “overlook” the terrible nicotine vapers just on the idea that a good amount arent even vaping any nicotine as in 0%…..I know eBay & Amazon last time I checked will sell e-liquid @ 0% nic…..I use Linux/Chrome or Android…….

  • Stephen Jones

    Vape in the left pocket, iPhone in the right one so until they make a phone I can vape with who cares?

    • Jeff Christianson-Ziebell