LIVING HEALTHY Published January18, 2016 By Czarelli Tuason

Chemicals Used For Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung, Experts Suggest

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Man smoking an e-cigarette
(Photo : By: Martina Paraninfi | Getty Images)

A study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that some juices for vaping or e-cigarettes contain the flavoring chemical diacetyl, associated with many cases of severe respiratory disease, primarily popcorn lung, reported New Strait Times Online on Wednesday.

According to the publication, the term popcorn lung is used for the respiratory condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans, which was first observed in workers who inhaled diacetyl-containing artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn-processing factories.

The chemical was found to ruin the tiniest airways of the lungs, resulting to an accumulation of scar tissues that impede airflow. Popcorn lung can reportedly cause shortness of breath, coughs and wheezing, and may even require a lung transplant for patients in severe cases.

According to Independent on Dec. 10, the researchers analyzed the chemical components of 51 flavoring liquids used for vaping and found that 39 of which contained diacetyl.

Several vaping liquid manufacturers still include the chemical in their products, while many have claimed that their flavors are diacetyl-free. Some companies even pay for chemical analyses of their products and use the results as advertisement to the vaping market.

However, consumers must be warned that the study found two manufacturers that claimed their products are diacetyl-free, but analysis revealed otherwise.

Despite the health hazards that vaping causes, many cigarette smokers are still switching to e-cigarettes, choosing the lesser evil among the two.

According to the Public Health England in August, e-cigarettes are approximately 95 percent less harmful to the health than tobacco cigarettes, and could help smokers to quit smoking tobacco. The government agency also noted that there is no reported evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking tobacco for non-smokers and children.

Ultimately, the anti-tobacco group ASH U.K. and the NHS recognize that vaping is a lot safer than tobacco cigarettes, although more studies have yet to educate the public of the long term effects of e-cigarettes.

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