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MYTH BUSTER: VAPING DOES NOT CAUSE POPCORN LUNG

MYTH: E-CIGARETTES GIVE YOU POPCORN LUNG.

FACT: VAPING DOES NOT LEAD TO POPCORN LUNG … IN THIS COUNTRY.

I’ve lost count of how many articles have been written in recent months about Popcorn Lung and it’s alleged connection to vaping.

Let’s clear one thing up. Vaping does not lead to Popcorn Lung … in this country. Why?

What is ‘Popcorn Lung’

Popcorn Lung is the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans and is a VERY RARE condition (even in the USA) that damages your lungs' smallest airways and makes you cough and feel short of breath. It's sometimes caused by breathing in a chemical used to flavour microwave popcorn.

Your lungs are where your blood picks up oxygen before carrying it to cells in the rest of your body. When you breathe in, air flows into your lungs through your windpipe, or trachea. Your windpipe divides into two tubes called the bronchi, which lead to your left and right lungs. Inside your lungs, those tubes split again and again, like the branches of a tree. The smallest of those branches are called bronchioles, and they end in tiny air sacs called alveoli. The alveoli are where the oxygen is picked up by your blood.

When you have Popcorn Lung, those tiny air passages get irritated and inflamed. That leads to scarring that makes them narrower. The damage caused by Popcorn Lung is often irreversible. That makes it harder for you to get enough air.13

What causes Popcorn Lung?

Diacetyl is the chemical found in flavouring that produced a buttery taste and is frequently associated with causing Popcorn Lung but other chemicals, or lung illnesses, can also cause Popcorn Lung. The name Popcorn Lung came about after workers at a popcorn factory were found to have bronchiolitis obliterans more often than most people. Diacetyl is banned in the UK. However, it was detected in some e-liquid flavourings in the past, but at concentrations hundreds of times lower than is necessary to result in lung damage. Even smoking is not a major risk for this rare disease.1

CONCLUSION

It’s been a challenge for the authorities in the USA to link vaping to the 1 or 2 cases that present as Popcorn Lung (the jury is still out as to whether these patients did in fact have Popcorn Lung). The bottom line is that Popcorn Lung is extremely rare – even across the pond. No regulated UK e-liquid will contain it or any of the other substances currently causing issues in the USA. Stick to purchasing your vaping supplies from reputable retailers and you won’t have anything to worry about in terms of contracting Popcorn Lung.

VAPE IN PEACE

  1. WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD (2019)
  2. McNeill, A. et al. Evidence review of e- cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018. A report commissioned by Public Health England (2018).

Joanne Emmerson FCIM
Head of Marketing, Ibiza Club

Joanne is a fellow of the Royal Chartered Institute of Marketing and has 30+ years marketing experience. She has worked all around the world, is published in 7 countries and teaches marketing communication theory at Post Graduate level both in the UK and USA. She has worked alongside many government bodies, health organisations and national charities. ivcservice@ibizavapeclub.com

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