There is an old saying that the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. That is not an endorsement for smoking traditional cigarettes, but rather a cautionary statement about electronic cigarettes and vaporizers. Over the years, millions, possibly even billions of dollars have gone toward studying the health effects of smoking traditional cigarettes. The science is clear, cigarettes are addictive and harmful.
Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers came along and were marketed as a safer, less expensive alternative, which can be used in places where traditional cigarettes cannot. (Exception: NYC’s ban on electric cigarettes in public places was upheld
). To add to the allure, they come available in a variety of flavors. But are they really safer? How much has this issue been researched? What studies have been done?
The chemicals used to flavor electronic cigarettes have been linked to a serious, irreversible lung condition which can lead to death, bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung.”
Diacetyl, a chemical used to flavor many electronic cigarettes, when inhaled, damages and inflames the bronchioles, the smallest air passageways in the lungs. This leads to permanent scarring of the bronchioles, which blocks the airways.
Other similar chemicals used for flavoring electronic cigarettes are pentanedione and acetone. Researchers at Harvard University found that approximately 92 percent of electronic cigarettes tested contained one of these three harmful chemicals
The harmful effects of diacetyl were discovered over a decade ago, when workers at a microwave popcorn factory were injured by inhaling the chemical. As a result, diacetyl stopped being used by major popcorn manufacturers.
Yet these harmful chemicals continue to be used to flavor electronic cigarettes today. Leav & Steinberg, L.L.P.
is dedicates to taking electronic cigarette manufacturers to task for producing these dangerous products marketed and sold as a “safe” alternative to traditional cigarettes.