BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's Cabinet has approved a ban on the import of hookah-style water pipes and electronic cigarettes, copying a similar move by neighbouring Cambodia earlier this year.

Deputy government spokesman Maj. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Tuesday's decision approving the ban proposed by the Commerce Ministry was made for health reasons. The Public Health Ministry originally suggested a ban, saying the items were luring young people into smoking.

The ban also applies to substances that could be used to flavour or scent the water used in the water pipes, also called baraku in Thailand. The use of baraku is still legal in areas where smoking is allowed.

Cambodia in February banned the import, sale and promotion of e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco, a favourite of hookah-using smokers.