Electronic cigarettes imports blocked
Jamaican authorities have blocked the importation of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes with liquid cartridges or replacement liquid cartridges.
Jamaica's one-year-old ban on smoking in public spaces also restricts the use of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that mimic the experience of smoking.
Users inhale a vapour from a heated liquid that contains a concentration of nicotine.
A leaked World Health Organisation document earlier this year referred to e-cigarettes as a threat which could result in a new wave of the tobacco epidemic.
According to customs, the health ministry says the ban is due to the absence of supporting information that would allow for the appropriate assessment for safety approval of the product.
The ministry reportedly said the e-cigarettes have not been fully investigated and the Nicotine content delivered to the user is not yet known.
The Health Ministry says it is not aware of the health risks that users may be exposed to, or the benefits associated with the use of e-cigarettes.
The Jamaica Customs Agency says it will be enforcing the prohibition until further notice is given.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry Dr Kevin Harvey declined to answer questions from our news room on the development earlier today.
WATCH: The Gleaner Minute