The Danger of Diacetyl

Overlooked damage to the consumers of vaping products

Natasha Karam, Journalist

Photo courtesy of

Once known for being inhaled daily by the workers of microwave popcorn factories and their consumers, diacetyl’s tasty flavoring caused hundreds of death from bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung) in a study from While major popcorn manufactorers eliminated the compound from their popcorn, diacetyl is still used as flavoring in an industry whose market is estimated to reach the global value of $61.4 billion by 2025 , e-cigarettes and vaporizers (as seen in a study from Business Insider).

When many people go to buy e-liquid or pods for an e-cigarette or vaporizer, the thought to check the ingridients on the back in search for diacetyl doesn’t always come to mind, especially when placed in the hands of a teenager. Diacetyl is a green or yellow liquid compound with an intense butter flavor. It is commenly known for its appearence in certain e-liquid and pod brands for flavoring purposes, although it appeals to its consumers with its variety of flavors, the damage it havocs on lungs is overlooked.

An anonymous student at CdM stateed,”I remember my dad telling me when I was a kid about popcorn lung in the factories and the way it scarred the little air sacs in lungs, it’s irriversible. I never had heard of it since but I know a lot of kids at school who use Juuls and other vaporizers. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen to them.”

In a study from it was shown that Harvard researchers found that 39 out of 51 e-cigarrette brands contained diacetyl. Given the popularity of these products, attention to the harm people are inhaling daily is needed.

“ I know a lot of students who use vaporizers quite often and I want them to know that they are intaking a chemical capable of ruining their lungs because I feel like alot of people think of vaping as ‘safer’ or less harmful way of smoking, which is not the complete truth,” stated from an anonymous CdM student.

Diacetyl continues to lack attention to its capability of narrowing and thickening ones airways. The industry may be growing larger, but the awareness to the harm in vaporizers is not.