Officials: Mislabeled vaping products causing growing concern


JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy says vaping products tainted with more than what they’re labeled to contain is a growing problem.

“If somebody’s going to use one of these that they purchase out of a gas station or on the street, they literally are playing Russian roulette because they have no idea what’s in there,” Dowdy explained.

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State and local agencies have made several busts in the last year where seized products were tested to reveal dangerous contents.

“Those 22,000 dosage units were all liquid spice,” Dowdy said in reference to one bust. “Liquid spice is a synthetic marijuana. At least two of the dosage units that we seized in that batch had fentanyl which is very deadly.”

They’re also finding a lot of products with THC at high levels. That’s the property in marijuana that makes people high.

“It’s creating a dynamic that’s complicating things for us here at MBN because of the fact that we’re still dealing with things like the opioid crisis,” added Dowdy. “We’re still dealing with methamphetamines coming in from Mexico, along with all the other illicit drugs. Now we’ve got this added dynamic of these illicit substances in these vaping devices. It’s very taxing on our resources.””

But he’s hopeful laws can be passed next session to get ahead of the growing crisis.

“MBN is an enforcement agency,” Dowdy said. “We’re not a regulatory agency. Currently we don’t have an agency that is designed to oversee or regulate some of these products that we’re seeing out there in the market.”

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