Irreversible Condition known as “Popcorn Lung” is Connected to Chemical Commonly Found in Vape Flavourings

We all know that smoking has a lot of negative complications, but the same also goes for vaping. Vaping has constantly been criticised for being another way of causing yourself several long-term health problems which have a similar severity to the regular smoking of tobacco.

According to some medical researchers, a chemical that goes by the name diacetyl is commonly found in vape flavour pods. Diacetyl is linked and associated with a condition named “popcorn long” which is medically defined as Bronchiolitis Obliterans. This condition causes an inflammation in the bronchiole airways which can cause certain severe symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

Reports published by Business Insider have suggested that between 2017 and 2018, there was an increase of 78% in the number of vapers among high school students, and a further increase by 48% in those who attend middle school.

The report also adds that almost 60% of middle school students use vaping and other flavoured e-cigarettes. g

A document that has been published by the US surgeon General’s Office has warned repeatedly about the concerning increase in the number of younger people taking up the habit of vaping on a daily basis.

However, considerable research has been undertaken by the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives to establish the links between popcorn lung and e-cigarettes. The study was conducted in 2015 and it involved the testing of 51 flavoured e-cigarettes. It was found that 39 of these e-cigs contained the chemical diacetyl.

Although the study did not confirm that vaping in general causes popcorn lung; however, it did show that some vape flavourings did contain the chemical that is connected to the condition.

The research study stated: “Because of the associations between diacetyl and bronchiolitis obliterans … urgent action is recommended to further evaluate the extent of this new exposure to diacetyl and related flavouring compounds in e-cigarettes.”

People smoking on the streets Amsterdam, Netherlands on October 18, 2018. Amsterdam will make some smoking free streets from 2019. (Photo by Robin Utrecht/Sipa USA)

Diacetyl in e-cigarettes is already banned in the UK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes bronchiolitis obliterans as ‘a serious lung disease that is irreversible'.

Popcorn lung was the name that was developed two decades ago when a group of employees that worked in a microwave popcorn factory were found to have inhaled the artificial butter flavouring.

Following this, an investigation was undertaken due to several workers suffering from breathing problems. The investigation concluded that there was a link between airway damage and being exposes to diacetyl.

Furthermore, it has also been reported that other similar cases of popcorn lung have been identified in employees working in a diacetyl manufacturing plant.

Further studies have suggested that the diacetyl has also been found in regular cigarettes which shows the similarity in the severity of both regular smoking and vaping.