For the first time, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is asking people to drop off vaping devices and cartridges during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday in Denver.
The agency said in a release it’s accepting the devices and cartridges Saturday to combat “the emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.”
The country has witnessed an outbreak of lung injuries connected to black-market e-cigarette or vaping use this year. At least 33 people have died from the illness in 24 states, according to the CDC.
Colorado has the highest teen e-cigarette use rate in the country.
Prescription Drug Take Back Day’s primary focus is disposing of opioids and other painkillers from people’s homes to prevent misuse. Denver police drop boxes will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the following locations:
- District 1 1311 West 46th Avenue
- District 2 3921 Holly Street
- District 3 1625 South University Boulevard
- District 4 2100 South Clay Street
- District 5 4685 Peoria Street
- District 6 1566 Washington Street
- Police Administration Building 1331 Cherokee Street
The DEA said it cannot accept vaping devices containing lithium-ion batteries. The Denver Police Department said it cannot accept needles, oxygen containers, chemotherapy or radioactive substances, or illicit drugs.
During April’s drug take-back day, the DEA collected 937,443 pounds of meds — the equivalent of about 150 Denver police patrol SUVs.