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If you’ve ever smoked an e-cigarette, you must have heard about diacetyl. It’s often portrayed as a very harmful chemical, which makes vaping a dangerous endeavor. Wait a minute. Don’t most people vape to avoid dangerous chemicals in cigarettes? So is vaping just as dangerous as smoking or even more so?

What is Diacetyl?

Diacetyl is an organic compound with the following chemical formula (CH3CO) 2 . It occurs naturally in such foods as apples, beans, butter, honey, vinegar, and tobacco. Diacetyl is a byproduct, which comes from converting glucose to ethanol by yeast during a fermentation process. It has a distinct buttery taste, which is why many manufacturers add it to butter, margarine, oil, dressings, and similar products. You can find diacetyl in microwavable popcorn and sweet snack foods. It’s also often used in the e-juice.

Is Diacetyl Dangerous?

Several studies were made to evaluate the dangers of inhaling diacetyl in food manufacturing facilities. When diacetyl undergoes heating and boiling, the chemical is released into the air. It’s highly volatile so it’s easily inhaled. Some studies link this compound to respiratory problems, which were experienced by workers at popcorn plants.

Is It Safe To Vape E-Liquids With Diacetyl?

The major factor, which makes e-liquids so attractive, is their taste. The variety of flavors helps people make a choice toward an e-cigarette. However, many e-liquids contain diacetyl since it helps them get the buttery flavor.

Inhaling diacetyl while vaping is less dangerous than inhaling its vapors eight hours a day at a popcorn factory. However, vapers should know the risks they face when the product gets into their lungs. Introducing chemicals to the organism is each vaper’s personal decision.  While some may not experience any problems, others can get a variety of adverse reactions, including allergies.

A study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal showed that diacetyl found in sweetly flavored e-juices is unsafe for vapers. They classified the presence of this chemical in e-liquids as an avoidable risk.

What About Diacetyl-Free E-Juice

Many e-juice manufacturers offer diacetyl-free monthly E-juice subscription. The variety of such e-juices is far from being limited. Diacetyl is usually present in sweet flavors, however, many of them exist without the chemical. Non-sweet flavors shouldn’t even be worried about.

Meanwhile, it’s important to note that tobacco contains diacetyl as well. In fact, a traditional cigarette carries over a 100 times more diacetyl than an e-cigarette. So if a person is choosing between switching to an e-cigarette and staying with traditional cigarettes due to the diacetyl content, the choice is obvious. E-cigarettes are still a “healthier” choice, especially when they are diacetyl-free.

Each person makes his or her own decision about vaping. But if a risk can be avoided without damaging the experience, what is there to think about?