A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture. File photo/Reuters
South Korea’s health minister on Wednesday “strongly advised” the public to stop using liquid e-cigarettes as growing health concerns fuel a global backlash against vaping.
Countries around the world have been pulling electronic cigarette products from markets and restricting advertising as vaping faces increased scrutiny.
“The current situation is considered as a grave threat to public health,” South Korea’s health minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing, citing cases of lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use in the United States.
Park said the government would expedite its own studies to determine if there was a scientific basis to ban sales of liquid e-cigarettes.
US health officials have so far reported 33 deaths and 1,479 confirmed and probable cases from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping.
A pneumonia case of a South Korean e-cigarette user was reported this month, the health ministry said.
The United States has announced plans to remove flavoured e-cigarettes from stores, citing alarming growth in teenage use of the products
India also discontinued the sale of e-cigarettes in September.
South Korea’s health ministry also vowed to tighten regulations on vaping products such as strengthening customs procedures for imported liquid of e-cigarettes.
Following the government’s decision, the Korea office of US e-cigarette maker Juul Labs said in a statement their products had no harmful substances. Juul began sales in South Korea in May.
E-cigarettes - both liquid and the heat-not-burn types - are widely available in South Korea, accounting for 13% of its tobacco market by sales as of June, according to government data.
South Korea warned Japan on Thursday that it would be forced to review security cooperation between the two key US allies if Tokyo pushes ahead with plans to remove Seoul from its “white list”
The spectre of new confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington hangs over meetings between China, Japan and South Korea this week, with growing risks North Korean actions could end an uneasy detente and upend recent diplomatic efforts.
Horton, who took silver behind Sun at the weekend, refused to step onto the top step of the podium for photos after the medal ceremony in Gwangju, as doping allegations swirl around Sun.
'The UAE has decided to renew, from today and for a renewable period of two weeks, the suspension of entry of all foreign nationals holding valid UAE residence visa, in a bid to contain the spread the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure their safety.
The ministry also announced that 35 cases fully recovered from the virus, after receiving treatment, bringing the total recovered cases to 96.
The Ministry said a 62-year old Asian expat and a 78-year old GCC national who tested positive for COVID-19 died due to complications related to chronic diseases. This brings death toll to eight.
"Considering the problems of overseas Pakistanis it has been decided that the first flight would land at Islamabad International Airport on April 4. All passengers will be sent in quarantine and tested for COVID-19. Those tested negative will be sent home through special arrangement of transport," Asad Umar said.