Ahead of the “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on Oct. 26, the Drug Enforcement Administration said it is expanding what it will accept to include vaping products like vape pens, e-cigarette cartridges.
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The products have drawn scrutiny in recent months, as an ongoing outbreak of lung injuries and deaths have been linked to the devices.
(MORE: 3 things you might be getting wrong about the vaping epidemic, as lung injuries top 1,000 cases)
There have been 1,604 lung injuries, which health officials now call EVALI — short for “E-cigarettes or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury” — according to the newest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released Thursday.
There have also been 34 deaths associated with the outbreak in 24 states. Those who died ranged in age from 17 to 75 years old.
Tony Dejak/AP, FILE
In this Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
The DEA-sponsored take-back event, which will be held in various locations around the country, is a chance for the public to safely discard of expired and unused prescription drugs anonymously.
(MORE: The vaping crisis has a new name: EVALI
The agency has collected more than 11 million pounds of prescription medications in the decade since it started the take-back program.
Collection sites will be open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, and the DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries.