Mainstream Media Busted for Lying About Vaping Link to Popcorn Lung
Last week, the mainstream media was chocked full of vaping headlines and it’s no surprise that they were based on a single bogus health report. From FOX to CBS to USA Today, the media buzzed with claims that vaping could give you “popcorn lung”, a disease that causes severe and irreversible damage to lung tissue. One report went so far as to suggest that vaping could lead to lung transplants. It sounds awful and makes for sensational headlines, but it’s absolutely not true.
The culprit behind all the media frenzy is a chemical called Diacetyl. The vaping community has been aware of the potential risks of Diacetyl for quite some time and many eliquid manufacturers have removed this ingredient completely to eliminate any risk of potential illness. In a recent study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers claimed they found Diacetyl in 39 of 51 eliquid flavors examined. This became a sounding board for the anti-vaping crowd to call for regulation and excessive bans.
However, a closer look at the research reveals several major problems. Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor of Health Sciences at Boston University, said there were “glaring omissions” in the Harvard study, resulting in extremely inaccurate information. Siegel is no stranger to tobacco control with more than 25 years in the industry. He pointed out that the study mentions nothing about cigarettes, which contain much higher levels of Diacetyl.
In fact, Siegel crunched the numbers and revealed a shocking truth. “Daily exposure to Diacetyl from smoking is therefore 750 times higher, on average than exposure to Diacetyl from vaping. Vapers are, on average, exposed to a daily dose of nine micrograms of Diacetyl, compared with 6,718 micrograms for smokers.” That’s not all. “The worst e-cigarette tested produces Diacetyl exposure that is 85 times lower than that of the worst cigarette tested,” Siegel said.
So should vapers dismiss the recent media reports as garbage or should they be concerned about potential Diacetyl exposure, however mild? According to a report from Critical Reviews in Toxicology, “Smoking has not been shown to be a risk factor for bronchiolitis (popcorn lung).” So if cigarettes don’t cause popcorn lung and they have far higher levels of Diacetyl, why would we associate vaping with this disease?
Siegel blamed the media’s reaction on a larger problem. “There’s a lot of effort out there to demonize electronic cigarettes and a lot of research attempting to identify the risk, which is fine, we need to know what the risks are, but the reporting of the research I think has been very biased.”
There is a lot at stake when the media latches on to these inaccurate studies. Siegel said it ultimately could costs lives. “What this really does is undermine the public’s appreciation of how severe the risks of smoking is. What it’s basically telling ex-smokers who’ve quit, using e-cigarettes, is you might as well go back to smoking.”
The American Vaping Association has also condemned the recent surge in fictitious and exaggerated vaping reports. President Greg Conley said, “Surveys show that more smokers are beginning to believe that vaping is as hazardous as smoking. The false impression is being created and reinforced with each sensationalist report on the newest ‘bombshell’ study about vaping. Reckless communication of the risks of vapor products not only causes fewer smokers to quit but also leads some vapers to return to smoking. It is horrifying to see this happen.”
Once again, this is a timely reminder that you can’t believe everything you hear – or read. When you spot a new vaping related study circulating in the news, take time to read the actual data and examine the research methods. Unfortunately, more often than not, these studies are nothing more than fear-mongering tactics from the anti-vaping lobby.
Do you avoid eliquids that contain Diacetyl? Are you concerned about the recent reports?