Recent discussions of e-cigarettes and what is contained in e-liquids has been centered on a substance known as diacetyl. Diacetyl is a chemical typically used to impart a buttery flavor, and though it is regarded as safe for ingestion, it is absolutely not when inhaled.
Because of the info regarding diacetyl as unsafe for inhalation, many anti-e-cig media outlets have been assumptively, and erroneously, reporting that all electronic cigarettes contain this substance, based on the World Health Organization’s findings, in an effort to continue the negative stereotype that surrounds e-cigarettes. What they fail to realize and report upon is, is that not all brands use the chemical as a flavoring, EverSmoke being among them.
In fact, on a test of a variety of brands of e-liquid to see if they contain diacetyl, done on a TV program in the UK, only 1 of the 4 tested contained the substance! 1 in 4!
So, the big deal with diacetyl in e-liquid is that it is linked to a horrific lung disease known as “popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis obliterans. It can occur after prolonged exposure to diacetyl that has been heated and inhaled. It affects the bronchioles, causing them to be obstructed and inflamed, restricting airflow, making breathing difficult, and coughing and wheezing prevalent.
Currently, researchers are studying the effects of diacetyl, and testing different brands’ liquids to determine whether they contain the substance, and what effect it is having. Dr. KE Farsalions, a prominent European physician who has done many studies on the effectiveness and benefit of electronic cigarettes, has lead the research on diacetyl. In a presentation he did at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw this year, Dr. Farsalions sampled approximately 160 different e-liquids, mostly manufactured in Europe, in an effort to show what the exposure to diacetyl is exactly for vapers, particularly on a daily basis.
The outcome if this study showed that 74% of the e-liquids he tested contained some diacetyl, most often found in sweet liquid flavors. Even more disconcerting, however, was that a great number of these sweeter liquids contained levels of diacetyl that were higher than the safety limits were supposed to be. Even still, however, the range is anywhere between 10 and 100 times less than the exposure from traditional cigarettes.
So that is the current situation with diacetyl and vaping. Pick and choose your products wisely, and ultimately opt for a brand like EverSmoke, that is committed to keeping the diacetyl fake butter flavor out of our products! And for those of you who are scientifically-inclined, you can check out Dr. Farsalion’s study here (PDF download).