Staff Editorial: National Drug Take Back Day collection sites now accepting vapes

Widespread vaping crisis needs to be addressed


Art by Sophie Livingston

Emma Leff

For the first time since the inception of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Day nine years ago, people can now drop off vaping devices at collection sites. The Echo Editorial Board sees this as a step in the right direction to combat the vaping epidemic, but a lack of awareness and addictive nature of vapes hinders the event’s effectiveness.

The Board believes Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, anonymous way for people to get vapes out of reach, but poor promotion of the event limits its success. Given the pervasiveness of vaping among youth, the Drug Enforcement Administration should have targeted this demographic to notify people that vapes are now accepted at the event’s collection sites.

Due to the addictiveness of many vapes, The Board believes only people actively looking for a way to stop vaping would participate in the event. The promotion surrounding the event should highlight recent statistics emerging regarding the serious ramifications of vaping, which could incentivize more people to get rid of their vapes.

According to the StarTribune, almost 1,500 cases of lung damage have been linked to e-cigarette and vaping products, resulting in 31 deaths. 

The Board believes statistics like this need to be disseminated across the United States to spread the word about the real dangers of vaping. Campaigns raising awareness for these dangers should be as common as campaigns against regular cigarettes. Additionally, more events like Drug Take Back Day should be occurring not just on the national level, but locally as well — including in St. Louis Park.

Although there are no drop-off sites in St. Louis Park, there are over 200 located across Minnesota. The collection sites run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will be accepting vapes as long as it does not contain a lithium ion battery, according to the StarTribune. Specific locations of drop-off sites can be found at