Tag Archives: diacetyl

Diacetyl in e-cigarettes — what we can really say (not much)

by Carl V Phillips

I received an inquiry about diacetyl from a reporter in the e-cigarette press and though I would share my response more widely. Most readers will know that diacetyl is a food additive that produces a strong buttery flavor, and that it is the most controversial among the several controversial flavoring agents in e-cigarettes. The concern is that high-dose inhalation exposure is believed to produce the horrible acute lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly known as “popcorn lung” because the cases have been found in workers in flavored popcorn factories and at least one consumer who was huffing the outgassing from microwaved popcorn. (I say “believed” because all of these victims inhaled a cocktail of chemicals, not just the one molecule, so it is consistent with the evidence that the outcome depends on the multiple exposures and is even possible that diacetyl is not a necessary part of the mix.) Continue reading