South Korea warns of 'serious risk' from vaping

South Korea is the latest country to warn of risks from vaping.

On Wednesday officials advised people to stop using liquid e-cigarettes and said the country is weighing a sales ban.

That would hit major producers like Juul.

South Korea is the world's second-biggest market for heated vape products after Japan.

The country's Health Minister says they'll speed up studies to work out if there's scientific basis for a ban.

(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREA'S HEALTH MINISTER, PARK NEUNG-HOO, SAYING:

"The situation as it stands is considered a grave threat to public health, as suspected cases of lung damage have been reported domestically, after cases overseas of lung damage and death."

U.S. officials have reported 33 deaths from a mysterious respiratory illness linked to vaping.

South Korean health officials say a local case of pneumonia in a 30-year-old who vaped was reported this month.

Countries around the world have been pulling e-cigarette products from shelves as vaping faces rising scrutiny.

U.S. e-cigarette maker Juul Labs began selling their devices in South Korea in May.

After South Korea's comments on Wednesday, Juul Labs' local office said in a statement their products had no harmful substances.