GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time, the Drug Enforcement Administration will accept e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges as part of its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.
During the bi-annual event, agencies across the country collect unused, unwanted and expired medications in an effort to combat abuse.
The DEA’s decision to expand the items collected comes as concerns continue to escalate over vape-related illnesses and deaths.
Dr. Shelley Schmidt, a Spectrum Health pulmonologist, is happy to see e-cigarettes and other vaping products added to the list.
“To reduce both having the devices in the hands of the youth, but also to try and prevent poisoning,” Schmidt said.
According to Schmidt, proper disposal is especially important for vape products as they contain high levels of nicotine, which can be toxic.
“There have been hundreds of young children and toddlers throughout the United States who have gotten nicotine poisoning from getting into nicotine vape juices and solutions,” she said. “So, putting them in the hands of people who can properly dispose of them is critical.”
Devices containing lithium-ion batteries may not be dropped off.
In addition, liquids, inhalers, patches and syringes will not be accepted.
Drop-off locations can be found around the state. Among them are all 30 Michigan State Police posts, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
More information on Take Back Day can be found on the DEA Take Back website.