The debate surrounding the potential health hazards associated with electronic cigarettes perhaps reached its inevitable peak when confirmed god Colin Farrell used one of True Detective season two’s rare moments of goodness to, well, I’ll just let him tell it:
Interesting. In the months since that impassioned declaration, e-cigarettes have persisted to the point of seemingly unanimous acceptance. For reasons not entirely clear, no one would appear to be heeding the words of one Ray Velcoro at all. In fact, according to a recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, many are ignoring those words and perhaps (bafflingly enough) unknowingly risking their own health.
Researchers found Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, in "more than 75 percent" of flavored e-cigs and refill liquids, the Harvard Gazette reports. Two additional compounds believed to be harmful were also found in "many" of the tested flavors, including popular mixes such as cottony candy, cupcake, and whatever the hell "Fruit Squirts" is trying to be.
The link was specifically found between inhaling the chemical and the respiratory disease known as "popcorn lung," named after its first appearance in microwave popcorn factory workers. "Recognition of the hazards associated with inhaling flavoring chemicals started with 'popcorn lung' over a decade ago," Joseph Allen, lead author of the study, says. "However, Diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors beyond butter-flavored popcorn, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and, we learned in our study, candy-flavored e-cigarette."
For number enthusiasts, peep the chemical breakdown:
At least one of the three chemicals was detected in 47 of the 51 flavors tested. Diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection in 39 of the flavors tested. Acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione were detected in 46 and 23 and of the flavors, respectively.
Pay tribute to the ghost of True Detective past by maybe not downing so much Diacetyl anymore.