Vaping devices now being accepted on Drug Take Back Day

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FILE – In this Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, a man blows a puff of smoke as he vapes with an electronic cigarette. Months into an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses, health officials in October 2019 are still looking at a wide range of products and chemicals that might be causing the severe _ and sometimes fatal _ cases. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — More than medication is being collected during Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. For the first time, vaping devices and cartridges also are being accepted for disposal.

💊 Looking for a Drug Take Back Day site? Click here and enter your zip code.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration says the change stemmed from concerns across about illnesses and death associated with vaping and the high rate of vaping among young people.

Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon says that as the agency helps get unwanted prescription drugs out of circulation, it is going a step further to combat an emerging public health threat.

More than 1,600 people, many of them teens and adults, have been sickened in a national vaping illness outbreak that appears to have started in March. At least 34 have died.

Now in its 10th year with twice-yearly collections, the administration’s drug take back day has collected more than 11 million pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications.

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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