What is popcorn lung?
Popcorn lung made e-cigarette media headlines in December of 2015. Popcorn lung refers to the condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans that occurs when inhaled chemicals obstruct the smallest airways of the lungs due to inflammation and scarring. It is caused by breathing in toxic fumes or respiratory infections. The disease is not reversible; however, treatments can slow further worsening.
The term popcorn lung was coined by an incident that occurred during the 1990’s when workers in a popcorn factory had contracted bronchiolitis obliterans after prolonged exposure to the diketone diacetyl, the same diketone that was used in several creamy and buttery e-liquid flavours. It was in 2002 that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had documented eight cases of irreversible lung disease at a Missouri popcorn factory in the United States from 1992 to 2000.