Experts have warned that in addition to causing people to become a social outcast, vaping could also result in serious long-term health problems.
Diacetyl, a chemical found in flavored vape pods, can cause users to develop an irreversible condition called ‘popcorn lung’.
Popcorn lung or bronchiolitis obliterans is a condition that damages the lungs’ smallest airways, making a person cough and feel short of breath.
After workers at factories that package microwave popcorn were found to have the condition, many companies refrained from using diacetyl as flavoring.
However, the chemical is still used in electronic cigarettes.
The main symptoms of popcorn lung are shortness of breath and a dry cough. These occur between two weeks and two months after you have been around the toxic gas. People are less likely to have them when doing heavy labor or exercising.
If you wheeze when you don’t have a cold or asthma or if you feel tired without obvious reasons, this could be a symptom of bronchiolitis obliterans.
According to Business Insider, there was a 78 percent increase in vape users among high school students from 2017 to 2018 and a 48 percent increase for middle school users. More than 60 middle school students use flavored e-cigs.
A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives tested 51 different flavored e-cigarettes. Researchers found the chemical diacetyl in 39 of them.
The study said: “Because of the associations between diacetyl and bronchiolitis obliterans … urgent action is recommended to further evaluate the extent of this new exposure to diacetyl and related flavoring compounds in e-cigarettes.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes popcorn lung as a “serious lung disease that is irreversible.” The chemical diacetyl is banned in UK e-cigarette liquid.
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