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DEA to accept vaping products on National Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Take Back day is Saturday, October 26.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. A new study released Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, found another jump in how many U.S. teens vape nicotine-tinged electronic cigarettes. About 25% of high school seniors surveyed this year said they vaped nicotine in the previous month, up from about 21% the year before .(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has expanded the list of products accepted to include vaping products. 

The DEA announced the expansion in a statement Tuesday. The organization said the decision to accept vaping devices and cartridges was due to concerns raised across the United States over illnesses and deaths caused by vaping, as well as high youth vaping rates. 

"The DEA encourages individuals to help make the community safer by removing unwanted prescription medications from their homes. This semi-annual event is a chance to do that anonymously and safely. For the first time in the history of this program we will be accepting vaping devices and cartridges," DEA Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen. said in a statement. "The success of this initiative, which continues to grow, would not be possible without our local, state and federal partners."    

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Since its inception in 2010, National Prescription Drug Take Back day has encouraged citizens to turn in 469 tons of prescription drugs. The DEA will accept prescription drugs and vapes at any of its drop off locations. It cannot, however, accept vaping devices that contain lithium ion batteries.

Drop off locations can be found on takebackday.DEA.gov. Those interested in turning in prescription drugs or vapes can use their zip code to find the nearest location. Items can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and drop offs are completely anonymous. 

The DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries, however. Anyone who can't remove a battery in a vaping device is encouraged to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.

You can check your local pharmacy for drug drop-off sites, or go to takebackday.DEA.gov and punch in your ZIP code to find a location. The window for dropping off medications is 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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