A study conducted by a research group at the Harvard School of Public health found that the chemical flavoring Diacetyl found in E-Cigarettes is linked to certain lung diseases primarily popcorn lung. The flavoring Diacetyl is found in more than 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and E-Cigarette juices.
However this 75% statistic is not up to date because many E-juice companies are now removing Diacetyl from their recipes. So Yes, chemicals found in some E-juice flavors have been shown to cause popcorn lung when inhaled. Their however has never been a case of someone contracting Popcorn Lung from vaping. To understand why scroll down to the bold print for the conclusion.
The term Popcorn lung is used to describe a respiratory condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. Bronchiolitis Obliterans is a very serious and irreversible condition in which air sacs in the lungs become scarred. This disease often results in a cough and shortness of breath. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported several cases of bronchiolitis obliterans in workers in a microwave popcorn plant in Missouri in 2000. An Investigation by the NIOSH (National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health), discovered that a flavoring agent called diacetyl that was used to give the popcorn a buttery taste, and that inhaling the flavor likely contributed to the development in the workers illness.
More recently however a man in Colorado sued a popcorn company after he developed bronchiolitis obliterans (“Popcorn lung”) after eating two bags of microwaved popcorn every day for 10 years. The man was compensated $7 million dollars after a court ruled in his favor.
This chemical diacetyl was proven to be harmful over a decade ago, however the chemical is still used as a flavoring today. This probably led to the FDA’s New vaping Regulations.
A study published in the 2015 journal of Environmental health Perspectives showed that the chemical Diacetyl was found in many types of e-cigarette juice flavors especial in candy and fruit flavors. The researchers at Harvard tested the chemical components of 51 types of e-cigarettes and liquid and found that 39 of these contained diacetyl. This suggests that exposure to the chemicals in e-cigarettes can be harmful to your health, and cause lung damage.
There are over 7,000 varieties of flavored e-cigarette and e-juice (nicotine-containing liquid that is used in refillable devices) on the market. Many vaping liquid manufactures still include the chemical Diacetyl in their products even though there are proven health risks. Some companies claim that there products are diacetyl free to appeal to vapors but they still contain the chemical.
A solution to this problem would be to pass legislation to ban diacetyl and other harmful chemicals from vape juices. Another solution would be for more government testing on E-cigarettes.
So we know that some E-juice liquids contain the chemical diacetyl which is harmful to your health but according to Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the department of community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health the level of diacetyl exposure from vaping compared with smoking differs by ‘”orders of magnitude.
Siegel who has spent 25 years in the field of tobacco control pointed out that these studies about the relation of popcorn lung and vaping don’t mention that regular cigarettes contain diacetyl, and a lot more of it. Siegel found that “daily exposure to diacetyl from smoking is 750 times higher, on average than exposure to diacetyl from vaping”.
Vapors on average are exposed to nine micro-grams of diacetyl daily, while smokers are exposed to a daily dose of 6,718 micro-grams of diacetyl. Also Siegal wrote that the e-cigarette liquid with the highest level of diacetyl in the Harvard study exposed vapors to 239 micro-grams against 20,340 micro-grams of diacetyl for heavy smokers.
This shows that people who vape should not worry about contracting the diseases popcorn lung. Not only is the risk of diacetyl exposure far lower for vapers than for smokers but according to Critical reviews in Toxicology, “Smoking has not been shown to be a risk factor in bronchiolitis (Popcorn Lung).
If you Vape you have a far lower risk of contracting popcorn lung than someone who smokes traditional cigarettes. Also if you smoke traditional cigarettes it is very unlikely that you will ever contract popcorn lung. The media totally exaggerated this Harvard study on the risk of popcorn lung from E-cigarettes.
Even though there are some health hazards associated with vaping, cigarette smokers are still switching over to e-cigarettes as a safer option.
According to an expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England (PHE) e-cigarettes are estimated to be around 95% less harmful than smoking. They also found that there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to smoking tobacco for children and non-smokers.
This however does not mean that vaping is completely safe. “Since most of the health concerns about E-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about the health risks. In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and as our study shows, flavoring chemicals that can cause lung damage,” said study co-author David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics.
Even without much testing on vaping and an unregulated industry vaping could be a much healthier alternative to cigarettes. Make sure to like us on Facebook to stay up to date with all your vaping news.