The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expanding “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” to include vaping products, thereby placing the electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the same category as prescription drugs such as opioids.
The annual event lets people anonymously dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at collection sites across the U.S, according to an article on NPR.org. The DEA launched the semi-annual initiative in 2010 in the hopes of preventing pill abuse, misuse and theft.
The DEA claims concern about the health risks of vaping and electronic cigarettes as the reason it announced this week it will also accept electronic vaping devices and cartridges, provided any lithium ion batteries are removed. The cannot accept any device with a battery.
“In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances,” agency officials stated in a press release. Saturday’s Take Back event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at collection sites across the nation.
If batteries can’t be removed from vaping devices, the DEA suggests contacting “large electronic chain stores” or hazardous materials management facilities to see if they will accept them.
Proper vape disposal involves more than just tossing the device in the recycling bin, waste disposal specialists say, since batteries can end up in landfills and contaminate the environment. TheWeedBlog advises people to resell or donate used vaping devices, or recycle them online or through companies such as Home Depot and Best Buy, which offer electronic waste recycling, according to the story.