In a major crackdown against the artificially produced nicotine products, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday imposed a blanket ban on vapes, e-cigarettes, e-nicotine flavoured hookah, heat-not-burn devices, e-sheesha and similar devices in the country. The ban, which includes selling, distributing, trading, importing, manufacturing and advertising, will come into immediate effect.

In its advisory, the health ministry argued that after conducting a roundtable discussion with eminent doctors, specialists, scientists and officers of various health and drug departments, it had come to a conclusion that Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and similar technologies that encourage tobacco use are hazardous for an active as well as a passive user.

The ministry further said that such electronic devices that enable nicotine delivery or its use, are a great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age.

The advisory also explained that in addition to creating dependence, nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus during pregnancy. It may lead to cardiovascular diseases and can also function as a “tumour promoter”.

The health ministry’s advisory has come a week after Delhi High Court rapped the Central government for failing to come up with regulatory measures on the manufacture, import, sale and trade of e-cigarettes in the country.