Mainstream Media Busted for Lying About Vaping Link to Popcorn Lung

vaping popcorn lung 13

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?

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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13 Responses

  1. Alicia Hublou says:

    I just want to say thankyou for fighting ignorance on Vaping. I have friends who even think this crap is true and won’t listen to any logic or reason. Not to mention that the shops who make thier own juice don’t even use this ingredient in thier juice.

    • L. says:

      It’s not so much a case of the liquid makers as the flavoring makers. Some have not weeded out or reported diacetyl as well as the could in the past, which is mostly found in flavors with creamy or buttery notes. Diacetyl is also found in all natural butter however, with very little difference chemically from the man made version; it’s so similar in fact that it would take some very complicated lab tests to prove which it is. Cook with butter and you’re exposing yourself to diacetyl.

  2. Asylumsix says:

    Yes I avoid juice with Diacetyl I actually mix my own to be certain, not because of the studies but because i’d rather be safe than sorry…

  3. ME says:

    Really you cant blame mainstream media for this … the fault lies with the professor who did the study and omitted pertinent information .. the media merely reported based on his report ..he should actually be held accountable for those omissions !

    • Picco says:

      Yea, keep telling yourself that the media isn’t there to pump out mass propaganda. I’m sure Phillip Morris had a little bit to do with this little smear campaign. And that’s all it is.. Big tobacco trying to get some of their customers back, and wouldn’t be surprised if the study didn’t even exist.

  4. cananybodyread? says:

    I don’t get your conclusion… cigarettes contain more and are worse for you, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is good for you. Just bc cigarettes are worse doesn’t mean vaping is good.

    Your conclusions make no sense at all. You are saying “vaping is good bc cigarettes are really bad” which is a moronic conclusion based on no evidence.

    • Dylan says:

      Nobody says vaping is perfectly healthy. The community is well aware that not vaping is better for you than vaping. But vaping IS better for you than smoking, and that’s the whole point. It’s harm reduction to a point where there’s little to no short term risk. It’s easy to transition to and easy to quit fully by gradually lowering your nicotine intake if that’s what your end goal is.

      There is of course no long term data yet because it hasn’t been around long enough, but it’s been said before (and from the marked improvement in my health in the year that I’ve been vaping, I can agree) that no matter the risks, 10 years of vaping will certainly prove to be better for your health than 10 years of smoking.

      • QuittingbyVape says:

        I agree. I’ve been a smoker for 34 years and smoked 1/2 pack a day for many years. Since I’ve been vaping, I’ve cut down to 3 cigarettes a day and gone from 12 mg nicotine to 6 mg nicotine in my vape. Vaping is helping me to quit….something I have been unsuccessful doing in the past. I’m unconcerned about a small amount of Diacetyl b/c I’ve been smoking a vast amount of chemicals for years. Vaping puts fewer chemicals in my body than smoking ever did.

    • cananybodythink? says:

      This moronic conclusion as you put it is the same one most who read this will get in their heads halfway through the article. It’s safe because even cigarettes are safe from popcorn lung, and vaping is 750 times safer than cigarettes in this regard. How hard is that?

    • TheIronyIsReal says:

      Your username actually makes me laugh in this case. The author’s conclusion is not “vaping is good because cigarettes are bad”, but rather “the media is bad for over-hyping something scary and reporting on false and inaccurate studies.” The author’s opinion is that vaping is good, says so in his bio, and he cites sources which say vaping is BETTER than smoking cigarettes for your health, did not say it is perfectly healthy and made no personal claims as to it’s healthiness.

      What is moronic, sir, is that you read an article and chose to ignore its contents to make BS claims.

    • Tony says:

      ^This. I second this.
      And also people you do know youre reading this from a pro-vaping website. OF COURSE theyre gonna say the news isnt true, they dont wanna lose their business duh!

  5. Matthew says:

    I have been vaping liquids that contain Diacetyl for the last three years. I vape day in and day out, most of the day. I will say this, before vaping, I was borderline COPD and asthmatic. I was a 3 pack a day smoker for 18 years. I decided to quit by trying out vaping, which got me to quit. As of mid last year, when I had a physical done before having a gallbladder surgery, my physical came back with great results (Other than the gallbladder issues). My blood pressure was the most normal it had ever been (110/70), my lungs came back clear, my vision had improved (Little known fact that smoking robs oxygen flow and blood flow to your eyes, causing you to gradually lose eyesight.). Now, this is after I had been vaping for two years, and using a lot of liquids that contain Diacetyl. Makes you wonder about the misleading studies and false media reports about vaping.

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