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The Best Way to Dispose of Vape Products on “National Drug Take Back Day” on April 30, 2022

Woman vaping

FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2022

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday April 30th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. More than 100 local police departments and drug stores across New York have partnered together again to provide a free opportunity to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

At the last collection event in October, the DEA says New Yorkers turned in nearly 29,000 pounds of prescription drugs at 149 collection sites in our state. To find a site closest to your home check out this link.

This year, we have partnered with Senator John Mannion and the Manlius Police Department to invite local residents to drop-off old medications and check out free materials from our poison center on Saturday at the Manlius Police Department’s permanent drop-off location at 1 Arkie Albanese Avenue from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

During this year’s event, the Upstate New York Poison Center wants to remind everyone of the best way to get rid of your vaping pens and cartridges. In 2021, our poison center received 132 calls related to vaping products. In the first 4 months of this year alone, we have already received 176 calls.

“With increased availability of vaping products, we expect this trend of higher calls to continue,” says Dr. Christine Stork, clinical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center, “We have already seen the devastating effects of some vaping products on the lungs and used vaping products getting into the hands of little kids. Know even a small amount of vape juice can be toxic to a child. Please call us with any questions: 1-800-222-1222.”

In 2019 the Drug Enforcement Administration started accepting vaping devices without lithium-ion batteries and vape cartridges at any its drop off locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. However, they cannot accept devices containing lithium-ion batteries. Vape pens, even disposables, use lithium batteries which should only be disposed of through county hazardous waste collections to prevent possible explosions.

“Vape cartridges, empty or full, should not be thrown in the trash as it could lead to a poisoning,” says Gail Banach, director of public education at Upstate New York Poison Center, “Vape cartridges can be dropped off at any participating pharmacy during the DEA’s Drug Take Back event or at on-going collection sites throughout the year. “

If you are unable to make the events in your area on Saturday, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs AND vape products throughout the year:

If you are in Onondaga County, since 2015 our SNADD Program has partnered with 11 police departments plus Onondaga County Community College and SUNY Environmental School of Forestry to make medicine boxes available and most collect sharps/needles. Residents can drop-off their old, expired medications, vape cartridges and used hypodermic needles, sharps, and lancets at these sites during regular business hours year-round.

If you are in Western New York, review this list for drop-off locations year-round.

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area.

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About Upstate New York Poison Center

Housed inside Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, the Upstate New York Poison Center is dedicated to reducing the number, cost and severity of poisonings within its designated 54-county service area as mandated by New York State Law. The Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to both health professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

About Upstate Medical University

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. Affiliated with the State University of New York, Upstate's mission is to improve the health of the community through education, biomedical research and health care.