Does vaping cause Popcorn Lung?

Glen Waters
Does vaping cause Popcorn Lung?
Over 10 years has passed since members of staff at a popcorn factory became ill from inhaling Diacetyl; a buttery flavoured chemical found in foods like popcorn, caramel and dairy products. Whilst this flavouring tasted good, it was linked to cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as "popcorn lung”, a dangerous and irreversible lung condition.

As a result of these findings, the major popcorn manufacturers removed Diacetyl from their products. Case close right? Well not quite. Following some ‘questionable’ research, it was discovered that Diacetyl had been found in several sweet flavoured e liquid ranges. Whilst initially this was a huge concern for vapers across the globe, it quickly became apparent that things had be blown out of proportion. No really? Yep!

The Diacetyl findings came at a perfect time for the various media outlets on a mission to discredit vaping and to discourage would be vapers from picking up a vape pen and putting down the deadly fags. They jumped on this revelation, telling everyone that vaping was the work of the devil!

Why were the findings misleading?
  • Only a small cross section of flavours tested contained Diacetyl, while the others did not. 
  • The levels found in e-liquids were as much as a hundred times lower than in traditional cigarettes 

Inhaling Diacetyl over a long period is not best for the health. That’s a fact. However put into perspective, having Diacetyl present in your e liquid; vaping is still far less chemical laden than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, which are packed with chemicals, many of which have been proven to cause lung disease and cancer.

Obviously Diacetyl being present in some e liquids was not something that was ignored. As a result of the findings all of the suppliers of the Diacetyl-containing e liquids were contacted with the results and plans were put in place to avoid this in future. As a whole the vaping industry has taken the new information on board and steps have been taken to ensure Diacetyl is not present moving forward.

Our advice for vapers, to ensure the e-liquid they are vaping is clean, is to purchase e-juice from a reputable retailer. Avoid the cheap stuff you can pick up in petrol stations, corner shops and market stalls. 

To conclude, If you vape you have a far lower risk of contracting popcorn lung than someone who smokes traditional cigarettes.

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).

Are you new to Vaping? Wondering, "how much nicotine should be in my e-liquid?". If so check out this short video for some helpful tips. 


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