Israel has banned the sale and import of JUUL  e-cigarettes over their potent nicotine content.

The pod-based devices, which are the global market leader in the e-cigarette trade, are no longer available for import or purchase in the country.

The Health Ministry there forbids any product containing more than 20 milligrams of nicotine per millimetre and the Israeli Health Minister has described JUUL e-cigarettes as “a grave risk to public health.”

“The decision to ban the import and sales of the product (JUUL) containing more than 20 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine was made because it posed serious danger to public health.”

The nicotine content for JUUL pods can exceed 50 mg/ml, placing them well outside the legal limit. It has made them a perpetual bestseller in the US, and every other country their use has been allowed.

The ban will go into full effect 12 days from now. It comes mere months after JUUL began selling in the country in February.

However, JUUL Labs has refused to give in. The company’s lawyers have sent a petition to the High Court of Justice contesting the decision.

Despite its 15-billion-dollar value and dominance in the marketplace, the San Francisco-based company is no stranger to controversy. Its favourability among American teenagers has kept it in the headlines for months, though the company has launched several initiatives to reduce underage vaping, educational materials among them. The company are also launching a new range of reduced nicotine pods.

The new products, though containing a significantly reduced amount of nicotine, still do not meet the standards of the Israeli Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, JUUL recently announced plans to launch in the UK and plans for further expansion in Europe.