Shut up about "Popcorn Lung" already, humanity


Sitting in a waiting room, some guy in another seat begins to go on about "Popcorn Lung" after noticing this electronic cigarette. Then another woman, eaves dropping, joins in on the conversation because she, too, has recently heard about "popcorn lung". Everyone appears to be an authority on it and are using the old "Those things are just as bad as cigarettes" lines, "probably even worse!". While I've glanced at a few headlines mentioning this crazy new disease all of us vaping-folk have to look forward to, I really didn't know anything about it. I couldn't defend my vaping in any way other than saying, "I don't know. I just like it. It's cheaper, doesn't stink and makes me feel better than a pack a day did." They drop the topic, smiling condescendingly as if to say "It's your grave you're digging".



Days have passed and I've finally gone ahead and looked this "new" danger up. And you know what? Apparently real cigarettes have the same "popcorn lung" chemical — only up to 100 times more of it! Even more astounding, even the cigarette smokers inhaling 100 times more of this stuff don't appear to be contracting any popcorn lungs. In fact, it seems there's only been about 20 reported cases of popcorn lung ever: 19 of which acquired from people inhaling artificial butter at microwave popcorn factories (hence how the illness got its name) and one from some lard-ass who gobbled down two bags of microwave popcorn a night. Conclusion? This new thing to be scared of is nothing to be scared of at all — even for the real smokers who have been breathing in 100 times more of it.

Nevertheless, the misleading headlines are out there. Feeding on the paranoia of all the common folk who neither have time nor inclination to do their own research. Taking blogs, hearsay, the news, and Facebook posts by their word, now we know that we may as well stick to our regular tobacco because the dreaded "popcorn lung" awaits us in the tubes of our electronic vaping machines. Sure, in actuality real cigarettes (and apparently popcorn itself) are still more dangerous in this regard, but, hey, that's old news (who's gonna click on that? We all know cigs are dangerous). It's a lot more eye catching to imply the real danger is the hip new thing: E-cigs. That's where the money is. It's the hot topic. And all of the rubes will buy into it. Then they'll state their misled understandings to people in waiting rooms as if they're saying facts. Nevermind that they're inadvertently working to scare people off from a gadget that's saving lives.

I don't like humans.

Sources

2014 study showing that the "popcorn lung" chemical, diacetyl, is more prevalent in real cigarettes
2007 CBS News article: "Popcorn Lung" Patient Ate Two Bags a Day
The article that caused all of this hoopla from The Journal of Environmental Health Prospectives