Apple to smokers: butt out or void your warranty

Smokers beware: Apple has begun denying warranty coverage on Macs that have been exposed to smoke. Even those covered under Apple's expensive extended warranty program.

Smoking May Void Your Apple Warranty

Apple just laid down the gauntlet with smokers announcing that it won't honor the warranty on a product that's been exposed to smoke.

Consumerist on Friday reported that Apple has denied several users repairs under its AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) because the machine had been exposed to smoke.

The first case involved a Mid-2007 MacBook under APP that was brought to the Jordan Creek Apple Store in West Des Moines, Iowa, for overheating. Apple voided the warranty because the computer was used in a house where there was smoking. It also refused to work on the machine due to the "health risks of second hand smoke."

Another case involved an iMac under APP that Apple refused to work on because it was deemed "contaminated" by tobacco smoke and and considered a "bio-hazard."

Apparently Nicotine is on OSHA's list of hazardous and toxic substances (although I couldn't find it) and Apple will not force an employee to work on anything deemed hazardous to their health because of the obvious legal exposure that could create.

Since Apple doesn't disclose anything about smoking in the North American terms and condition of the APP, users who were denied coverage should – at minimum – receive a refund of cost of the warranty. Those that have been denied warranty coverage due to exposure to smoke could also sue Apple for not honoring its agreement.

Who's right in this case?

Image: Geeky Gadgets