A new Harvard University study suggests e-cigarette flavouring causes ‘popcorn lung.’
Bronchiolitis obliterans is called that because the condition first arose in staff who worked at factories that packaged microwave popcorn.
Lead author Joseph Allen says its caused by a common flavouring compound called diacetyl.
“Recognition of the hazards associated with inhaling flavoring chemicals started with ‘popcorn lung’ over a decade ago. However, diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors beyond butter-flavored popcorn, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and, we learned in our study, candy-flavored e-cigarettes.”
Popcorn lung is characterized by a dry cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
It is permanent and can be life-threatening.
The Harvard study says there are more than 7,000 flavoured e-cigarettes on the market.
Damaging chemicals were detected in 47 of 51 sampled products.