The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday asked all state governments to strictly enforce an e-cigarette ban in their territories as per the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance.
In a letter to the Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police across India, the Home Ministry has empowered sub-inspectors across states to "enter, search and seize" prohibited items without any warrant.
The ministry says that the ban is due to the “deleterious” impact of e-cigarettes on public health, especially on young people in schools and colleges.
"Further, congruent capacity building and sensitisation of the enforcement personnel may be done for effective implementation of the Ordinance," the letter said.
Those violating the provision may face up to three years in prison plus a fine.
With the ban on e-cigarettes, India has come into line with countries including Brazil, Japan, and Australia.
According to media reports, New Delhi does not have manufacturing units for e-cigarettes despite being a market for nearly 400 brands.
On 31 May, which is World Tobacco Day, the Indian Council of Medical Research released a white paper pointing out the detrimental effects of e-cigarettes.