[REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE]The Karnataka government has banned electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in the state. The ban came into effect on Wednesday. In Picture: A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, August 7, 2015Reuters

The United States has come up with stricter anti-tobacco laws, banning the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and pipe tobacco to people aged under 18.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), in a news release, issued on Thursday termed the new rules as historic that will help improve the public health and protect the minors from harmful effects of tobacco use.

Before the introduction of the new rules, the U.S. had no legislation that prohibited the retailers from selling e-cigarettes and tobacco products to minors, the USFDA said.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that turn flavoured nicotine liquid into an inhalable vapour.

The government move can serve as a major blow to $3.4 billion e-cigarette industry in the U.S., which had flourished in the absence of feral laws, Reuters reported.

The e-cigarette vapor industry sales is estimated to touch nearly $4.1 billion in 2016 in the U.S., Reuters quoted Wells Fargo data report as saying.

A joint survey conducted by the USFDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that e-cigarette use among U.S. high school students had increased to 16 percent in 2015 from 1.5 percent in 2011.

The survey found 3 million middle and high school students smoked e-cigarettes in 2015. It also said that high school boys smoked cigars at about the same rate as cigarettes. The flavoured tobacco intake among the U.S. youth was also found to be high.

The new rules disallow the sale (both online and in person) of tobacco products to persons aged under 18, requirement of age verification by photo identity card, disallowing the covered tobacco sale in vending machines and ban on distribution of free samples.

The USDFA under the new rules has asked all the tobacco manufacturers to show that their products meet the necessary requirements and receive the market approval from the agency.

The review process will enable USFDA to check the tobacco ingredients, product design and health risks, and their appeal to youth and non-users, according to an official statement.