Friday, February 5, 2016

E-Cigarettes & Diacetyl: The Concern About Popcorn Lung

What Is Diacetyl & Why Is It Used?
Diacetyl is found in many of the products we consume every day. It occurs naturally in the foods we eat such as butter, vinegar and honey. It’s also produced during the fermentation process and is present in alcoholic beverages and foods like cheese. Diacetyl carries an intense buttery flavor and is commonly used as a food flavoring. It is classified as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) by the FDA.

The Cause for Concern – Popcorn Lung
The potential hazard associated with diacetyl comes from inhaling it, not ingesting it. The reason diacetyl has become a health concern is a rare outbreak of the disease called bronchiolitis obliterans in the late 1990s. Also referred to as “popcorn lung,” it received the infamous name due to its association with a microwave popcorn plant. Over the course of several years, workers at the factory became sick with asthma and cold-like symptoms, which eventually worsened. As their symptoms advanced, a number of workers were ultimately diagnosed with this disease.

Although the cause was heavily debated, many scientists believed that these cases of “popcorn lung” were caused by inhaling a powdered form of diacetyl, used in the popcorn to produce the buttery flavor. It is also worth noting that according to reports, the diacetyl levels in the factory were three times higher than normal and acceptable levels.

Facts About Diacetyl & E-Cigarettes
It’s important to note that there have not been any cases of popcorn lung attributed to e-cigarettes or smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. While many people aren’t aware of it, diacetyl has been present in tobacco cigarettes for many years at levels higher than found in the popcorn factories and 100 times higher than found in any e-cigarettes. Despite all of the adverse health effects of smoking, popcorn lung has never been found to be caused by smoking. Recent studies presented diacetyl as a possible new health threat that vapers were exposing themselves to. The truth is, as smokers, we were already being exposed to diacetyl, but at levels 100 times higher than what has been found in some e-cigarettes, and some e-cigarettes don’t have any diacetyl present at all.

The good news is that e-cigarettes do not have to have diacetyl in them to function properly and give you a great flavor and great experience. We at Vapor Lounge were aware of the concern about diacetyl before we opened for business in 2009. We have always maintained our strict standards of quality products and quality ingredients, and that always meant having diacetyl-free e-liquid. We vape what we sell, and just tasting good isn’t good enough. We encourage everyone to educate themselves and have provided links below, referencing recent studies on diacetyl. The team here at Vapor Lounge is always happy to answer any of your questions or concerns via phone, 1-855-45-VAPOR, or email at

Harvard Study Claims Popcorn Lung Is Found in E-Cigarette Smokers

NBC News Claims E-Cigarettes Deliver Harmful Chemicals

A new study finds diacetyl in e-cigarettes but exaggerates risks and fails to discuss smoking.

The FDA and CDC have also provided information on diacetyl.


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