(KXAN) — Earlier this year, the U.S Food and Drug Administration announced it would crack down on the illegal sale of disposable e-cigarettes.
“The FDA has started the process but sadly, what I’m concerned about are the number of kids that are dying until the FDA takes more aggressive action,” said Jim Carroll, the former director of the National Drug Control Policy.
As “Drug Czar,” Carroll served as the principal advisor to former President Trump on drug policy for three years.
“The Government needs to get these devices, not only off the shelves of stores, but they need to block these disposable vaping devices coming from China, from even getting into our country.”
A recent analysis from the Associated Press found thousands of vapes are entering the U.S illegally.
Carroll warned that some of the disposable vapes may contain the dangerous opioid fentanyl.
“These disposable vaping devices, if they’re coming into the country illegally, we have no earthly idea what’s going on. Not only is nicotine in it at 10x higher than a cigarette or another vaping device, but what we’re seeing are these things that are coming in with contaminants,” said Carroll.
While Carroll urges the FDA to be more aggressive, he questions if a new Texas law punishing kids who vape is too aggressive.
“I certainly believe that we need to take aggressive action to make sure that these don’t wind up in the hands of kids. But kids don’t understand the dangers. I mean, when you look at the way they’re marketed and you see cartoon characters, they’re sold and you know crazy kid flavors, all these things that are really designed to attract kids and kids don’t understand what they have.”
The new Texas law HB 114 went into effect on September 1 and requires students caught with vapes at the school to be placed in an alternative schooling environment, or Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) even if it’s their first offense.
“I don’t know, necessarily we want to take aggressive action against an innocent child, truly that’s what we’re talking about if they don’t even understand what’s in it but we want to make sure that we send the message to kids, that it’s not tolerated, that in fact, we’re doing this to protect them.”