Electronic cigarettes are to be banned in the Netherlands for people aged less than 18, the Dutch health ministry said in a statement on Friday.

E-cigarettes, which electrically vaporize a nicotine-infused solution, are touted by their proponents as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, but authorities worldwide have warned that the science concerning their health effects is not yet clear.

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The ban is due to come into force in May 2016, the ministry said.