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On February 23, I posted a blog titled “The Formaldehyde Scare”

In that posting I wrote that cigarette smokers who visit our vape shop often say some combination of:

  1. I smoke and I don't like it.
  2. I am interested in switching to vaping but I have heard some frightening things about it.
  3. They then list out some combination of the same concerns about the ecig vapor containing dangerous levels of:
  • Formaldehyde
  • Diacetyl
  • Heavy Metal

Today, in this message, I would like to share what I tell them about the diacetyl scare.


About Diacetyl

First and foremost, modern vaping devices and liquids will cut a smoker’s exposure to diacetyl by at least 100 times as compared to smoking cigarettes.

Diacetyl is a naturally occurring chemical that is produced as a byproduct of yeast during the fermentation process. Used in a wide variety of food products, it is best known as a flavoring in microwave buttered popcorn.

It is believed that several workers in a microwave popcorn company became ill from inhaling powdered diacetyl in large concentrations in the 1990’s. The condition became known as “popcorn lung.”


Diacetyl in Cigarettes

As it turns out, those factory workers smoked and their primary exposure to diacetyl came from smoking because cigarettes have a potentially harmful amount of the chemical.


Diacetyl in e-liquids

Dr. Farsalinos, whom I quoted in the Formaldehyde posting, conducted his own research on 159 e-liquid samples from 36 manufacturers and 7 countries. 40% of the samples had higher than safety levels. However, tobacco cigarette smoke contains 100 times the amount of the highest tested e-liquid. Here is the full results of his study

In his conclusion, Dr. Farsalinos states “The study is important because it confirms the lower risk potential of e-cigarettes compared to smoking, but also identifies an avoidable risk. We expect to see appropriate action taken by the e-cigarette industry to remove this small but unnecessary risk, making the products even safer than they currently are.”


Industry Self Correction

Since attention has been called to diacetyl in e-liquids most manufacturers have voluntarily removed any flavoring containing it. Many online e-cig distributors discontinued sales of eliquids containing large amounts of diacetyl. Most flavoring companies, the source of the flavors in all e-liquids, such as Capella Flavors, have completely removed diacetyl from their offerings and have reformulated many of their flavors to not contain acetoin, another potentially harmful additive.


We would like to help.

If you know any cigarette smokers who are considering vaping as an alternative, don’t hesitate to send them our way.  We would love to help.

Our mission: We support the movement to save a billion lives, one smoker at a time.

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