The myth that you should get a popcorn lung by vaping has been around for many years (aerzteblatt.de, for example, reported on this in 2015). And although In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about popcorn lungs.
What exactly is a popcorn lung?
Popcorn lung is the colloquial term for bronchiolitis obliterans, an inflammation of the small airways. The inflammation restricts the affected person’s ability to breathe and oxygen uptake in the affected areas. The body fights this inflammation by forming thick scar tissue, which can reduce lung volume in the long term. However, the inflammation is not fatal and can be treated well, especially in the early stages. However, if bronchiolitis obliterans is not treated, it can become chronic.
Where does the name popcorn lunge come from?
Incidentally, bronchiolitis obliterans does not have their name because it makes the lungs look like popcorn. The term came from the fact that the first medical investigations into the disease were carried out on employees of a factory of microwave popcorn. It was found that the substance diacetyl added to the popcorn must be related to the inflammation of the lungs or even the cause.
The cause of bronchiolitis obliterans
The inflammation can have several causes, such as previous infections, autoimmune diseases, or as a side effect of medication. It is also the most common rejection reaction after lung transplantation.
Another cause can be the contact of the substance diacetyl with the lungs, which brings us back to vaping. Diacetyl has a strong taste and smell of butter and is therefore used as an additive in e-liquids in the USA.
How dangerous is diacetyl?
Some manufacturers still use diacetyl to change the taste of their flavors, but only predominantly in the USA. CAK Vape as a premium vape manufacturer, we are proud to say that all of our vaping products are entirely diacetyl-free.
And even if diacetyl is contained in a liquid, it is not directly dangerous. To develop bronchiolitis obliterans, one would have to inhale at least 100 ml of diacetyl daily over a more extended period of time. So there is almost no risk for vapers.
Incidentally, diacetyl is also found in cigarette smoke. With the fags, however, the dosage is a thousand times higher than with e-liquids. When comparing an e-cigarette with a traditional cigarette, 9 micrograms of diacetyl were measured in the vapor. The cigarette smoke was 335.9 micrograms (source). Smokers have a much higher risk of developing bronchiolitis obliterans than vapers.
Conclusion: Don’t worry about the popcorn lungs
The hustle and bustle surrounding the popcorn lung are – like, unfortunately, many reports on vaping – a scaremongering pumped up by the media. Aside from the fact that there are no known cases of vaping-induced popcorn lung, the number of cases would be much higher if you smoked cigarettes. So: don’t worry, but maybe a bowl of popcorn instead? There is also something suitable from us that you can take a look at this post.
More about vaping & the benefits of smoking
If you want to learn more about the benefits of vaping over smoking, check out this post on the blog.