In the United States, three in four e-liquids contain diacetyl, implicated in the development of lung disease. In France, standards exist but they are non-binding. The electronic cigarette never ceases to be debated. While it is considered much less dangerous than tobacco by many health professionals, new studies regularly call it into question. One of them has just shown that out of 51 flavored e-cigarette liquids, 75% contain diacetyl, a product that is harmful to the lungs. This results in juul cause popcorn lung
The Words of the Researchers
Researchers at Harvard University analyzed the chemical composition of the vapor emitted by 51 e-liquid samples. The results, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives , show that diacetyl is significantly present in 39 of the 51 fluids tested.
The disease of popcorn workers
Diacetyl is used by the food industry as an additive to give foods a buttery or cheesy taste. Ingested, this substance is harmless. Inhaled, it can cause chronic bronchiolitis obliterans. This serious and irreversible disease first appeared about ten years ago in workers who inhaled the scent of this artificial flavor used in popcorn. The role of diacetyl in reducing pulmonary bronchioles is now well known.
“Despite the knowledge of this risk, diacetyl and other chemicals are also used in fruit flavors, alcohol, and as we discovered during our study, in e-cigarette liquids flavored with alcohol. candy, ”says Joseph Allen, assistant professor of environmental health at Harvard University and one of the study’s lead authors. Two other compounds potentially toxic to the respiratory tract, acetoin and acetyl propionyl, have also been detected. Their concentration exceeded the authorized thresholds in 46 and 23 of the 51 liquids analyzed, respectively. Only four samples showed no trace of the three substances tested.
In cigarettes too
Last year, a study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research also detected the presence of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl in vaping liquids, in even greater amounts. “The Harvard study does not mention at all that these substances are also present in the smoke of tobacco cigarettes at concentrations 10 times for diacetyl, and 100 times for acetyl propionyl, which are higher”, reproaches Jacques Le Houezec , fervent defender of the e-cigarette and member of the Addictology research team at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm).
For him, this substitute is undoubtedly the most effective for quitting smoking, with nearly a million quits in three years. “No one says that the e-cigarette is harmless, zero risk does not exist in life. Even breathing the air of our cities or drinking tap water are not without risks. But it is clear that, for a smoker, exposure to e-cigarette vapor is much less problematic than continuing to smoke ”, nuances the tobacco specialist.