I’m sure you’ve heard the stories from your grandma on Facebook about how you’re going to get Bronchiolitis obliterans aka “Popcorn Lung” and die a horrible death from vaping. The study that reached the conclusion that diacetyl was found in 75% of e-cigarette flavors was published in the journalEnvironmental Health Perspectives and has spawned an abundance of panicky clickbait headlines that have been making the rounds on social media lately. But just like the infamous formaldehyde study from earlier this year, the reactions to this one are also full of shit. Here’s why:
The study found that e-cigs have less diacetyl than regular cigarettes
From the study:
“Diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection 39 of the 51 flavors tested, ranging from < limit of qualification (LOQ) to 239 µg/e-cigarette.”
So 39 of the flavors that were tested had up to 239 micrograms. How does that stack up to the amount of “popcorn lung” causing chemicals in regular cigarettes?
From the NIH website:
“Fourteen commercial cigarette brands and one reference cigarette released 301–433 μg of diacetyl per cigarette.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that even the “dangerous” e-cigs that were tested actually had a lower amount of diacetyl than the cigarette brands that were tested, thus making them a safer alternative to smoking.
Diacetyl in cigarettes has never been proven to cause “popcorn lung”
The NIH has previously claimed that diacetyl is NOT a risk factor for the disease back in 2014, even at the high levels that are present in cigarettes, as shown here (note that the NIH also funded this e-cigarette study. They also have a history of being against any form of tobacco harm reduction. Could there be a conflict of interest here?):
“Further, because smoking has not been shown to be a risk factor for bronchiolitis obliterans, our findings are inconsistent with claims that diacetyl and/or 2,3-pentanedione exposure are risk factors for this disease.”
If previous research from the NIH isn’t enough to convince you, it should be noted that there has not been a single example of a smoker contracting Bronchiolitis obliterans. If you can’t get it from smoking, you definitely won’t get it from vaping.