Vaping devices now being accepted on Drug Take Back Day

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In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Only two years ago e-cigarettes were viewed as holding great potential for public health: offering a way to wean smokers off traditional cigarettes. But now Juul and other vaping companies face an escalating backlash that threatens to sweep their products off the market. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(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.

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.

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