India’s cabinet has announced a ban on the production, manufacturing, import, export , sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes, saying they pose a risk to health.
An executive order had been approved banning vaping products because of their impact on young people, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
It is not clear if the order will also prohibit the use of vaping equipment.
India has more than 100 million adult smokers, making it a huge potential market for e-cigarette companies.
Vaping, which involves inhaling a mix typically made of nicotine, water, solvents and flavours, is seen as an alternative to smoking which can help you quit, but its impact on health is still not fully known.
The ban will include jail terms of up to three years for offenders. Traditional tobacco products are not affected.
India is the world’s second-largest consumer of tobacco products after China, and more than 900,000 people die in the country each year from tobacco-related illnesses.