Malaysia looks to stub out vaping with tough new regulations
Users of these products are quickly increasing, especially amongst young people, with the global market projected to more than double to $40 billion by 2023.
But the much-loved replacements for traditional tobacco products have been allegedly linked to deaths and addiction among teenagers, starting a global campaign against vaping which has even seen US President Donald Trump get involved in.
Indian authorities banned the sale of e-cigarettes last month as it warned of a vaping "epidemic" among young people.
US health officials expressed their worried after witnessing 12 deaths and 805 cases of illnesses linked to the usage of such products.
Malaysia's health ministry said the deaths in the US has expedited its interest in regulating the use of e-cigarettes.
"Increasingly more studies have shown vape/electronic cigarettes ... are still harmful to human health. Furthermore, vapes/e-cigarettes are still not proven to be an effective modality to quit smoking," it said in an email, stating the final draft of the law Tobacco Control and Smoking Act has been submitted to the Malay attorney general for final review.
A ban on vaporiser liquids containing nicotine was already put in place since November 2015, but authorities believe this was not enough to stop the trend.
The new regulations in Malaysia would stifle the industry by prohibiting advertising, usage by minors and vaping in public spaces under this single law, the health ministry said.