Can Vaping cause Popcorn Lung?

Are you a vaper wondering if your habit could be putting you at risk of the dreaded popcorn lung? Or maybe you're considering making the switch to vaping but are hesitant because of the involved potential health risks. Either way, you've come to the right place. In this blog, Vapor Shop Direct will take a closer look into whether vaping can lead to Popcorn Lung.

What is Popcorn Lung? Let’s find out!

Popcorn lung, or bronchiolitis obliterans, is a respiratory condition that damages the small airways in the lungs. It gets its name from the fact that it was first observed in workers at a popcorn factory who were exposed to high levels of diacetyl, a flavouring agent used to give popcorn a buttery taste.

While the name Popcorn Lung may not sound like a threat, it is a serious lung disease that poses similar symptoms as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The Symptoms are severe coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

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The evidence available and the studies done

There is some evidence which suggests that vaping can cause popcorn lung. A study by researchers at Harvard found that 39 of 51 of the popular e-liquids that they tested contained diacetyl. In addition, this study also found that 2,3 pentanedione and acetoin, two more substances that are similarly harmful, were present in 23 and 46 of the 51 e-liquids respectively.

Furthermore, there is evidence that substances like acetoin in e-liquids generate diacetyl. This means that vapers are still at risk when using e-liquids that don't contain diacetyl. The risk includes the horror of Popcorn Lungs.


Can Vaping cause Popcorn Lung?

However, the levels of diacetyl found in vapes are significantly lower compared with those found in popcorn factories. Many vape manufacturers have stopped using diacetyl in their products and some even have implemented testing procedures to ensure that their e-liquids are diacetyl-free.

The risk of developing popcorn lung from vaping is still relatively low compared to other respiratory conditions caused by smoking. According to a 2018 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, e-cigarette users had a 25% lower risk of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than traditional cigarette smokers.


Our Recommendation

While vaping is far safer than smoking, it is not risk-free. Even though vapes do not contain harmful substances like Tar as cigarettes do, vapes do contain a handful of chemical substances that can pose a threat to one’s health. Therefore, it is best to leave vaping as a way to quit smoking rather than a way to start enjoying nicotine.

First of all, get rid of your smoking addiction by switching to vaping, then get rid of your nicotine addiction by reducing the nicotine dose step by step. And finally, when feeling comfortable enough with no-nicotine vaping, quit vaping altogether.



The debate over whether vaping can cause popcorn lung is still ongoing. While there is some evidence to suggest that diacetyl and other harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes can contribute to respiratory damage, the risk of developing popcorn lung from vaping alone is relatively low. As with any health concern, the best way to protect yourself is to seek a professional's advice first.

And remember, the only thing that should be popping is your popcorn, not your lungs!

Grab your vapes at your favourite vape store: Vapor Shop Direct!