KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is taking into consideration banning the sale of electronic cigarettes, its overall health minister mentioned on Monday, citing expanding reports of deaths in the United States linked to e-cigarettes and vaping.

As of Friday, U.S. authorities had reported 29 deaths and 1,299 instances of respiratory illnesses linked to the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, amid calls for stricter regulation.

Malaysia was currently finalizing a law that would ban the use of all smoking items, such as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, amongst minors and prohibit their promotion and marketing.

But it is now taking into consideration a comprehensive ban on the new devices, Wellness Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad told parliament.

“A detailed study is essential to overview the need to have for enforcing a total ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes and vapes,” he mentioned, adding that the ministry had set up a committee to appear into the matter.

Tobacco items in Malaysia are at the moment regulated beneath the Meals Act even though the sale of vaporizer liquids containing nicotine has been banned given that 2015.

Nonetheless, there are no particular regulations governing the sale and use of non-nicotine vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

The world’s vaping market, which has noticed fast development, has faced increasing public backlash more than issues of enhanced use amongst young individuals.

India, which has the second-biggest population of adult smokers in the globe, banned the sale of e-cigarettes final month as it warned of a vaping “epidemic” amongst youths.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff Editing by Nick Macfie)