Vaping devices now accepted during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, where people can drop off their unused prescription drugs. Needles will not be accepted.

In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a woman using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The goal is to stop drug misuse.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, nearly 10 million Americans misused prescription drugs last year. This year, police will also collect vaping devices.

The Centers for Disease Control is expected to release new vaping data Thursday. Right now, there are nearly 1,500 lung injury cases linked to e-cig products from 49 states. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 41 of those cases are within the state. Federal officials have confirmed 33 deaths in 24 states, none of which are in Iowa.

Studies have shown substance use declining in many areas among young people in Iowa, except for vaping. According to the Iowa Youth Survey, 21% of 12th graders report currently vaping nicotine versus 11% in 2017. Nearly 8% say they currently vape marijuana.

Leaders say it's important to get vaping tools away from young people and educate them at the same time.

“It's definitely something that we want to get on sooner rather later,” said Officer Lindsay Powers with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and the Eastern Iowa Heroin Imitative. “To show that it is dangerous, and you're putting something into your body that your body might not want."

They are not accepting the batteries for the vaping devices. Contact Solid Waste Agency for more information on where to dispose of those.

National Prescription Drug Take-back day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. Law enforcement agencies across the country are taking part. Click here to find an agency near you.