Some E-Cigarette Flavors May Be More Harmful Than Others – The Atlantic

In the 1990s, several employees of a Missouri popcorn factory began reporting mysterious symptoms. They were always tired, wheezing, and out of breath. After doctors found scar tissue inside the factory workers’ lungs, they diagnosed the workers with an irreversible lung disease: bronchiolitis obliterans, which would later be nicknamed “popcorn lung.” Its cause was traced back to the chemical behind popcorn’s buttery flavor.

While the FDA recognizes this chemical, diacetyl, as “generally safe to eat,” the case of the factory workers revealed that inhaling heated diacetyl particles day in and day out takes a harsh toll. What was safe to swallow wasn’t safe to inhale.

Years later, reports of diacetyl in e-cigarette vapors led to panicky headlines about vapers, too, being at risk of “popcorn lung.” Vaping advocates were quick to object, pointing out that spending years breathing in buttery-flavored factory air is very different from taking a few quick puffs from an e-cig. But the incident underscored the motley assortment of chemicals that go into different vape flavors. There can be hundreds of flavor additives in any given

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