DEA takes back vaping products for first time

Saturday, October 26, 2019
News 12 at 11

(MGN Image - Lindsay Fox/CC BY 2.0)

GROVETOWN, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- On Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected vaping devices and cartridges for the first time as part of their annual Drug Take-Back Day.

It has been an ongoing effort. Stores like Walgreens and Kroger stopped selling vaping products altogether. Kroger pharmacist Nicole Sanderson says it's vital to protect the public's health.

"People are ending up in the hospital, and we don't want that to happen to anybody else," she said.

The DEA said "in an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially among America's youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances."

Sanderson says there wasn't initially a lot of studies done on vaping. Now that people are ending up in the hospital with vaping-relating illnesses, the DEA and other health organizations are encouraging people to break their vaping habits.

"Now that they have case reports of people almost dying or have died from vape pens and electronic cigarettes, they have realized that this is not safe for the public or the environment," she said.

The DEA is only accepting vape pens that have removable batteries. If a pen has a non-removable lithium-ion battery, they encourage you to call a electronic store retailer that disposes of those batteries.

As they do every year, they also collected prescription drugs. Sergeant Daniel Massey with the Columbia County Sheriff's Department says its to make sure drugs don't end up in the water supply or the wrong hands.

"You don't know what kind of medications you're taking. Not only could you get sick or die from it, but we don't want you to get hooked on somebody's medication as well," he said.

At Saturday's Grovetown Kroger take-back event, they collected more than 107 pounds of drugs.

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