Alerts on the components of the electronic cigarette are regular.
Each media goes about its speculation about their harmfulness often without trying to understand what can be hidden under oriented studies or conclusions of an aerial science.

But in the end, the vapers come to wonder if using the ecigs is not as dangerous as smoking.

In the absence of explanation, alarmist articles spread across the net and the media have their effect on the perception of those who already question the benefits brought by vaping.
However, there are already clear answers regarding the presence of diacetyl in e liquids and its possible consequences on health.

This is what we will discuss in the following points:

  1. Diacetyl in food products

  2. What is the impact of diacetyl on health

  3. Diacetyl in cigarette
  4. Diacetyl in vape

  5. What about diacetyl in e liquids

  6. The evolution of the products of the electronic cigarette

Diacetyl in foods

What is diacetyl ?

Diacetyl, also known as 2,3-butanedione, is a component of food flavorings, a yellow liquid used in the composition of creamy and buttered flavors.

It is naturally present at a very low concentration in dairy products, beer, coffee, honey and fruits.

Used in the food industry, diacetyl is added to many products such as butter, cheese, cakes, candies, chocolate, cooking oils, margarine, syrups, chips, desserts, etc.

Over the years, scientists have been unable to determine how diacetyl impacts health and especially the human respiratory system. Is it in direct contact or with the exposure of a volatile mixture breathed that can lead to bronchiolitis obliterans ?
Nothing is defined.

An alert is launched for the workers exposed to the flavors during the manufacture and packaging of food products.

If diacetyl seems to be of no concern when ingested, the precautionary principle is applied when inhaled.

diacetyl vaping

               Diacetyl in beer brings a butter taste

What are diacetyl health effects? ("popcorn lung")

Scientific studies highlight the gradual onset of respiratory difficulty resulting in persistent coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.

They also point to the fact that physicians rarely link diacetyl exposure with the detected disease, treating their patients for what they consider to be a simple asthma.

In 2000, eight cases of irreversible respiratory disease were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The eight affected people worked at a popcorn factory in Missouri. The eight suffered from obliterative bronchiolitis, very quickly named "popcorn lung".

Clearly, these employees had inhaled huge amounts of a diacetyl powder. And the scientists then demonstrated that diacetyl attacks the bronchioles that bring air to the alveoli, the very definition of bronchiolitis obliterans that has no treatment and leads to lung transplantation.

Subsequently, other cases of this same disease have been found in various industries, including those using flavorings.

By dint of lawsuits brought by people affected by this occupational disease, this chemical was supervised by the health authorities and the order was given to remove diacetyl, especially in the manufacture of popcorn.

By deepening the research, the scientists could not reach a definitive conclusion on the incidence of diacetyl on this respiratory disease because if some patients actually had bronchiolitis obliterans, others escaped this sinister diagnosis.
Especially since the disorders reported by some were closer to the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a mixture of emphysema and chronic bronchitis that develops in the long term, that obstructive bronchiolitis (BO), which is a sudden illness.

popcorn lung

                           Popcorn lung

Diacetyl in cigarettes vs vape juice

Conventional cigarettes produce a significant level of diacetyl.

study conducted in 2006 on the toxic compounds of tobacco cigarettes determines a rate of 335.9 micrograms of diacetyl per cigarette.

Thus, a smoker consuming one pack of cigarettes per day inhales about 6718 micrograms of diacetyl.

In comparison, an e-cigarette study conducted in 2015 determined that the diacetyl content from an ecigarette cartridge is rated at 9 micrograms.

Thus, a vaper consuming one cartridge per day inhales about 9 micrograms of diacetyl.

In this regard, exposure to diacetyl is 750 times higher by smoking than by vaping.

Diacetyl in vape

Diacetyl is a recurring theme put forward by the "anti-vape" to discredit the positive impact of the ecigarette on health.

Nevertheless, to date, no vaper in the world has developed bronchiolitis obliterans.

And to go further, we can also point out that no smoker in the world has ever developed bronchiolitis obliterans.

Diacetyl free e juice?

Does this mean that vaping products containing diacetyl are not dangerous?

We will not advance to affirm it and of course recommend avoiding certain chemicals, including diacetyl but also acetyl propionyl (2,3-pentanedione) which has the same risks as its famous "rival" without being exposed mediatically.

Nevertheless, e-cigarette users have no difficulty in drawing a parallel between the beneficial risks potentially incurred with an electronic device and the proven risks with cigarette smoke.
They know that vaping is in every case less dangerous than smoking. And more than knowing it, they feel it.

Should we write that vape is totally safe?

No, except for smokers, ex-smokers and future smokers who find or will find in this device an alternative way not to expose themselves to the thousands of substances contained in cigarette smoke.

In this logic, we can then say that a vaper exposing himself to diacetyl today will do it 750 times less than a smoker and will still preserve his health.

diacetyl vape juice

Is diacetyl still in vape juice ?

Since 2013, the "diacetyl affair" has spread through the media regularly, waving the red flag of fear to dirty the ecig.

But it is forgetting the concerted action of the users themselves who have always fought not to introduce or eliminate potentially harmful substances in their e-liquid.
And the "popcorn lung" was one of their major concerns as soon as they were informed.

Also, the manufacturers of flavors for vaping as much as the designers of e liquids were summoned by them to make a scrupulous sorting in the marketed products.

The french AFNOR standard applied today to e liquids and developed in 2014-2015 only hovers over the subject of diacetyl, which was then considered to be treated.

Even the president of Aiduce (french users association) at the time, Brice Lepoutre, pointed out in January 2015:

"Cleaning in e-liquids is already well done upstream. I am thinking of, for example, diacetyl in ejuice which has been removed in the past. "

In the same way, the most famous flavor manufacturers used in the e cigarette have completely eliminated diacetyl from their products.
They have even gone further by also attacking acetyl propionyl to no longer find it in flavors for the design of e liquid, whether commercial or homemade.

The best example of this approach certainly goes to Capella Flavors who has not hesitated to purge from its dubious components its famous custard flavor to allow acetyl propionyl and diacetyl free e juice.

E juice brands with diacetyl ?

In 2019, talking about the danger of diacetyl in vape juice makes no sense.

When a product is launched or when the flavors used in DIY e juice come from manufacturers specialized in vape, diacetyl is banned and no longer enters their composition.

The product you buy now is diacetyl free vape juice or diacetyl free e liquid flavoring.

diacetyl vape


When cdc linked diacetyl to brochiolitis obliterans

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries - Popcorn Lung

Diacetyl in tobacco

Acetyl Propionyl

Dr Farsalinos and diacetyl in e liquids - blog e-cigarette research

Read more :

Propylene Glycol and E cig

Are e-cigarette flavoring really dangerous ?

The 10 most popular vape juice recipes in 2019

© Arom-Team 2019