Learn about Popcorn lung, incurable disease caused by e-cigarettes


Promoted as safer alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes became the latest trend to take over the world. Right now, the promises around e-cigarettes have come to “too good to be true”.

Study done by Harvard School of Public Health concludes that beside being an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes comes with alternative diseases of their own.

One of the flavoring chemicals for the e-cigarettes oil, Diacetyl, is connected to an incurable condition called Popcorn lung, a severe respiratory disease. The name comes from the disease suffered by workers in microwave popcorn processing facilities due to inhaling artificial butter flavorings. The Popcorn lung is a respiratory disease which causes scarring in the lungs, it’s totally debilitating and irreversible. Beside shortness of breath the scarring of the lungs also causes and excessive coughing.

The Harvard team analyzed 51 different flavored e-cigarettes, and in 47 of them they found at least 1 of 3 top toxins. The top 3 are: diacetyl, acetoin, 2,3-pentanedione.

“The amount of diacetyl in 39 of the e-cigs exceeded the amount that was able to be detected by the laboratory. Diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors beyond butter-flavored popcorn, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and candy-flavored e-cigarettes,” explains the author Joseph Allen.

Particularly scary is that these toxins are part of flavorings that include cupcake, cotton candy and similar flavors that are obviously attractive to the young population.

The co-author of the study and professor of Environmental Genetics, David Christiani, explains the current situation around e-cigarettes:

Since most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes. 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.