The health ministry on Tuesday called for stopping the sales and imports of electronic cigarettes citing grave health hazards. It has also warned against the launch of heat-not-burn tobacco devices that companies like Philip Morris International Inc.

According to World Health Organisation, there are 106 million adult smokers in the country, second only to China. India has stringent laws to curb the use of tobacco, which the government says kills more than 9,00,000 people every year.

In an advisory to state governments, the health ministry said such devices were a “great health risk” and it was possible that children and non-smokers using such products could switch to cigarettes once they get addicted to nicotine.

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