October 25, 2019

Senator Hassan in Union Leader: Addressing Vaping's Rise Through Drug Take Back Day

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, the Union Leader ran an op-ed today written by Senator Maggie Hassan highlighting the rise of vaping among young people, and how National Prescription Drug Take Back Day can play a role in addressing the issue.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will occur tomorrow, Saturday, from 10 AM to 2 PM, and provides the opportunity for members of the public to safely and anonymously dispose of any unwanted substances that could potentially lead to misuse if left around the home. For the first time, vaping devices and accessories will also be accepted at Drug Take Back sites in New Hampshire and across the country thanks in part to the advocacy of students at McLaughlin Middle School.

Earlier this week, Senator Hassan joined the Manchester Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and McLaughlin and Manchester Memorial students to promote Drug Take Back day. Learn more about the event and find a collection site near you here.

To read Senator Hassan’s op-ed in the Union Leader, see below or click here.

 

Your Turn, NH: Sen. Maggie Hassan -- Addressing vaping's rise Through Drug Take Back Day

 

Across the nation, more and more young people are taking up vaping, even as we see increasing reports of illnesses and deaths associated with vaping products. Recognizing the need to act, young people in New Hampshire are taking important steps to stop vaping among their peers.

 

Earlier this week, I met with student leaders from McLaughlin Middle and Manchester Memorial High schools for an event highlighting National Drug Take Back Day, which occurs this Saturday.

 

Drug Take Back Day plays an important role in stopping substance misuse before it starts.

 

Too often, substance misuse can start because someone experiments with old, unused pills left in the medicine cabinet, and Drug Take Back Day promotes the proper disposal of expired, unused, or unwanted medicine.

 

At various collection sites across New Hampshire, the public can anonymously dispose of potentially dangerous substances free of charge and with no questions asked.

 

Students at McLaughlin Middle and Manchester Memorial High schools saw Drug Take Back Day as an opportunity to also tackle vaping in their community and contacted local Drug Enforcement Administration officials to encourage them to add vaping products to the list of accepted items at Drug Take Back sites.

 

Their efforts were successful.

 

And now, as part of Drug Take Back Day, Granite Staters can also safely dispose of these dangerous vaping products Saturday.

 

I am inspired by the work of these students to raise awareness among their peers. They’ve seen firsthand how the use of vaping products has evolved in their schools and their communities, and they are taking proactive steps to highlight vaping’s dangers and to prevent their generation from becoming addicted.

 

We must support their efforts.

 

To start, we must get to the bottom of the rise of vaping illnesses and deaths that are occurring across the country.

 

In addition, we must stop children from using and becoming addicted to these dangerous products.

 

After a hard-fought battle, tobacco companies finally stopped blatantly marketing cigarettes to children; but they are up to their old tricks with vaping programs — with flavored products and other advertising strategies aimed squarely at young people. Data from the 2019 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that more than 25 percent of high-school students have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.

 

I will continue working to hold tobacco companies accountable for their role in targeting children and teens, and I will keep supporting efforts to prevent tobacco use among young people and address the substance misuse epidemic.

 

This Saturday, I encourage Granite Staters to participate in National Drug Take Back Day and to contribute to collective efforts to end the scourge of addiction that has impacted far too many of our communities.

 

To find a collection site near you, visit takebackday.dea.gov.

 

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