JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel banned Tuesday the import and sale of e-cigarettes made by Silicon Valley start-up Juul Labs, due to public health concerns due to their nicotine content.
Juul e-cigarette starter pack is shown in this image illustration taken on July 16, 2018. REUTERS / Martinne Geller / Illustration
A statement from the Israeli Ministry of Health said that Juul was banned because it contains nicotine at a concentration of more than 20 milligrams per milliliter and constitutes a "serious public health risk."
Since its launch in 2015, the Vaping device with flash drive has transformed the market in the United States, where it now accounts for almost 70 percent of e-cigarette sales.
The Israeli move was in line with similar restrictions in Europe, according to the statement.
The ban, which comes into effect in fifteen days, was signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also manages the health portfolio.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in May that Juul e-cigarettes were already available for purchase at 30 locations across the country.
Juul says it is aimed at adult smokers, but it has looked critically at the popularity of its products among teenagers.
In April, the US Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to minors, in particular those of Juul Labs.
Writing by Dan Williams; Edited by Alison Williams