Whether you’re new to e-cigarettes or you’re a seasoned vaping veteran, chances are you’ve heard of a condition called popcorn lung. The trouble is, most people have no idea what it is, let alone how it’s caused.
Popcorn lung, scientifically known as bronchiolitis obliterans, is a rare and serious irreversible respiratory condition that’s characterised by scarring and a narrowing of the small airways in the lungs.
The lung condition is primarily linked to exposure to the chemical diacetyl, which was once used as a flavouring in microwave popcorn due to its butter taste, hence the name. Those who develop popcorn lung experience a range of symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
For many years, popcorn lung has been linked to vaping, but is this justified? Here, we’ll discuss this condition and whether vaping is responsible for causing this illness. We’ll also explain where the link came from to give you a good understanding of the risks associated with e-cigarette use.
Can Vaping Cause Popcorn Lung?
The first question we need to answer is the most pressing: does vaping cause popcorn lung? The answer is no, vaping shouldn’t cause this condition.
The reason some people believe that vaping may lead to this type of bronchiolitis is because diacetyl was used in some e-liquid flavours in the US a number of years ago.
However, since then, there have been significant advancements in the regulations that govern vape products, and diacetyl has been outlawed in e-liquids pretty much worldwide.
This explains why vaping is highly unlikely to cause popcorn lung as the majority of e-liquids no longer contain diacetyl due to the fact it’s banned in the UK and the EU.
Thankfully, these stringent safety regulations and manufacturing standards are in place to minimise risk and help keep vapers safe when using their e-cigarette.
What Are The Symptoms Of Popcorn Lung?
Although we’ve established you’re unlikely to get popcorn lung from vaping, for anyone concerned about the condition. it’s still beneficial to cover the symptoms.
Popcorn lung typically begins with symptoms such as persistent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. In the early stages of the illness, individuals may experience mild respiratory discomfort, which will get progressively worse over time.
As the condition advances, symptoms may escalate and it’s not uncommon to experience fatigue and chest pain, with general fitness levels also potentially decreasing.
For those who develop the illness, it’s crucial to recognise these early signs and seek medical attention promptly. If you have a history of exposure to harmful chemicals like diacetyl, then this would make the need to seek medical care even more urgent.
For those who suspect they have this illness, early diagnosis and intervention are essential for managing the condition effectively and preventing further complications that can develop if left untreated.
Buy Vapes From A Trusted Manufacturer
So diacetyl, the chemical that causes popcorn lung, is banned in the UK. But does that mean there’s no chance you’ll find it in your e-liquid? Well, not exactly.
You see, some e-liquids that come from overseas may not face the same regulations that UK or EU-manufactured juices need to conform to. So while vaping shouldn’t cause popcorn lung, that’s provided the e-liquid you’re using contains no diacetyl.
This highlights the importance of purchasing your e-liquids from a trusted, reputable manufacturer.
That way you know there are no nasty chemicals in your e-liquid and you can be sure the juice you’re vaping complies with the health and safety regulations that are in place.
All of our juices and vaping products are TPD-compliant. That means the ingredients used in our e-liquid are all approved, so if you’re looking for vape products you can trust then you’ve come to the right place!
What About Other Lung Conditions?
So now we’ve got a good understanding of popcorn lung, how it’s caused and whether it’s linked to vaping, let’s round off by looking at whether e-cigs may cause other respiratory/lung issues.
The truth is, that vaping is quite a new invention, so we don’t fully know the long-term risks just yet. Having said that, while vaping isn’t risk-free, what we do know at this stage is it’s a much healthier alternative to cigarettes, which is the reason e-cigarettes were invented.
Moreover, there’s no conclusive evidence directly linking it to any severe lung issues.
The biggest concerns for smokers are cancer and heart disease. When it comes to cancer and smoking, this is mainly caused by the presence of tar and carbon monoxide, which is created when tobacco is burned.
Thankfully, the vapour produced by e-cigs contains neither of these, which is one of the main reasons Public Health England declared e-cigs at least 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes in a landmark study a few years ago.
Having said all that, as pointed out above, users must be aware of the importance of using reputable products. Buying cheap vape products on the black market may open you up to a plethora of risks, so avoid these, even if they’re much cheaper. In the end, you may end up paying with your health!
So as long as you’re using vapes to quit or keep you away from smoking, you can be sure you’re making a positive lifestyle choice.