Last weekend we were hit with no needs that Diacetyl has been found in some e-liquids, which of course is not good news. The problem is that the main stream media have jumped onto this with some gumption and have taken quite delight in telling people how dangerous all of this is – but should we really be worried?
The news of Diacetyl being used in e liquid came thanks to a TV programme called Inside Out and it only investigated 4 bottles that they bought. Out of the 4 bottles that they purchased only 1 one of them contained Diacetyl and the other 3 were perfectly fine.
Should We Be Worried?
First of all it is worth mentioning that Diacetyl is used quite liberally in the food industry to give food a buttery flavour. It is perfectly fine to consume this stuff, but not to inhale it. Diacetyl itself is a natural product that is made during the fermation of cream, butter and buttermilk.
The worry comes because Diacetyl has been associated with bronchiolitis obliterans (lung disease). This disease is very serious and can result in suffered needing a lung translate. Diacetyl becomes dangerous if it is heated and inhaled over a long period of time.
What Does This Mean For Electronic Cigarettes?
We have quite a lot of information on this subject thanks to Dr Farsalinos who looked into all of this and spoke at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw to report his findings. He looked at it on a much larger scale and looked at 159 refills (different flavours) across 6 countries from a total of 36 manufacturers. He wanted to see if Diacetyl was present and whether he could measure how much people would inhale every day if it was present. He looked at the average user consumption of around 3ms of e liquid per day.
Unfortunately it was found that nearly 75% of sweet flavoured e liquids contained Diacetyl even if only in small amounts. However Dr Farsalinos pointed out that although ” Diacetyl was found in a large proportion of sweet flavoured e liquid, at levels higher than the strictest safety limits, but significantly lower compared to smoking”. So we should be concerned about Diacetyl being present but it isn’t really something that we need to be very worried about, as it isn’t as bad as the media would have us believe. In fact the levels could be as much as 100 time slower than they are in cigarettes, which is obviously something that should be taken into consideration.#
What Does This Mean?
We’re not going to pretend that it is ok to have Diacetyl present in electronic cigarettes because that is not the case at all. However when you put it into perspective it does still make electronic cigarettes safe than smoking tobacco.
The good news is that people have been proactive about all of this! All of the companies that tested positive for Diacetyl were contacted and they should be putting steps into place to ensure that this is not the case in the future. You can reduce the risk to yourself by making sure that you buy your electronic cigarettes from a reputable supplier.
Link to Dr Farsalinos’ research: http://gfn.net.co/downloads/2014/posters/122%20Farsalinos%20%20-%20DA_AP.pdf