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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for Oct. 26

Vaping devices included for first time

October 24, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

2019 DEA Take Back ad 
For the first time, vaping devices will be included in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Take Back Day — the latest of which is scheduled for Oct. 26.

“DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative helps get unused and unwanted prescription medications out of circulation and ensures their safe disposal,” said Uttam Dhillon, DEA acting administrator, in an agency statement. “This year, we are taking a step further by accepting vaping devices and cartridges as we work with our federal partners to combat this emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.”

The ADA opposes any use of oral tobacco, including vaping nicotine from e-cigarettes, and urges people using any type of tobacco product to quit, the ADA said in an Oct. 21 statement.

“Vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarettes or other tobacco products,” ADA President Chad P. Gehani said. “When it comes to your teeth and gums, vaping could be just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.”

The ADA has advocated for the development of a body of scientific research examining the effects of both tobacco and non-tobacco nicotine delivery products as part of the ADA policy on tobacco use. In September, the ADA House of Delegates passed a resolution stipulating that the word “vaping” and any other alternative nicotine delivery systems be added to the existing ADA policy focused on tobacco use prevention, research and regulation.

“While the long-term oral health effects of vaping are under scientific review, as health professionals we must be prudent in protecting consumers from products that are harmful to their health,” Dr. Gehani said.

Since the initiative began in 2009, the DEA has collected more than 11 million pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications through Take Back Day events, according to a news release.

Dentists and their patients are encouraged to return expired or unwanted prescriptions to various collection sites across the country.

To find a Take Back Day site near you, visit the DEA website.