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Popcorn Lung Myth Busting

What Is Popcorn Lung?

That famous disease that’s popping up across the media, what is it? What causes it? We’re going to break down this Myth, where it originated and explain exactly what it is. We'll then go on to explain exactly why you won't contract this disease.

What exactly is Popcorn Lung?

Popcorn Lung (Bronchiolitis Obliterans as it is known medically) is a disease that affects the bronchioles (The small airways in the lungs), it can be treated but not cured. It essentially scars the tiny air sacs in the lungs causing the airways to narrow. It is a debilitating lung disease and has claimed the lives of hundreds, however, You will not get popcorn lung from vaping in the UK.

We repeat, you will not get popcorn lung from vaping in the UK. We know this because of the stringent regulations our liquids must go through, more on that later.

What Causes Popcorn Lung?

Over a decade ago workers in a microwave popcorn factory were sickened by this disease, it was caused by the chemical Diacetyl which gave the popcorn a tasty buttery flavour. Some of these workers, over a period of years, had inhaled large amounts of this chemical resulting in popcorn lung, which is where the name has come from.

Why Is It Linked To Vaping?

When vaping first started to gain popularity a small number of dessert flavoured liquids contained trace amounts of diacetyl (between 9 and 10 micrograms) to give it the authentic buttery flavouring, today that isn’t the case. Diacetyl has since been outright banned in vape liquid and has been for a number of years now.

To put this into perspective, the average cigarette has between 301 – 433 micrograms of diacetyl in it. We have been studying smoking for over 50 years now and since these studies we haven’t seen a single smoker contracting popcorn lung after putting nearly 50 times the amount of diacetyl into their lungs per cigarette than a small number of e-liquids that have been banned for years. You can read the full report here.

The Regulations We Must Adhere To

Since 2014 the vaping world has had to conform to a list of rules, we like to call the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive). This outline everything, we can and cannot do in regards from vaping, whether it’s the size of a tank to how much nicotine we can legally sell.

In the TPD there are a list of banned substances that manufacturers cannot put into their liquids and any liquids found to contain these substances cannot contain across the EU. Diacetyl is on this list.

For a liquid to be sold in the UK it must go through various tests before it hits the retail shelves to ensure it is as safe as can possibly be. These tests are done in government approved laboratories to test for certain chemical compounds as well as how much nicotine it contains and what emissions are given off upon being atomised. If they don’t pass, they don’t get sold.

Hopefully this clears up some of the questions you have about this disease, however, if you don’t want to accept our word for it at least listen to the UK Health Secretary and their report here.

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