Skip to content


Free Consultation

Electronic cigarettes could cause popcorn lung

Some of our readers may have heard the term “popcorn lung.” It’s actual name is a far more daunting one — bronchiolitis obliterans. It became known as popcorn lung because it’s a condition sometimes acquired by workers in plants that make microwave popcorn and other foods that use various types of flavoring. Now a study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found that the flavorings used in electronic cigarettes can also cause popcorn lung.

Many people have taken up “vaping” e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. However, vaping is not without its hazards. The Harvard study found that most brands of e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals. One of these chemicals, diacetyl, is found in the popcorn and fruit flavorings that can cause popcorn lung in workers regularly exposed to large amounts of it. The amount of diacetyl used in the flavorings in 39 of the brands of e-cigarettes studied was so high that it exceeded the level that the lab could measure.

Popcorn lung is considered a severe form of bronchitis. Unlike regular bronchitis, however, it is irreversible. Severe cases can even be fatal. Too often it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed at first because the symptoms initially resemble those of many other respiratory conditions. These include:

— Shortness of breath

— Dry cough

— Wheezing

— Fatigue

— Fever

It’s not known whether e-cigarettes have yet been linked to any cases of popcorn lung and, if so, whether any legal action has been taken. Vaping is still a fairly recent phenomenon. However, if you or a loved one contract popcorn lung and you believe that e-cigarettes may have been the cause, it would be worthwhile to determine what your legal options are for seeking compensation to cover your medical care and other damages.

Source: Remedy Daily, “Understanding bronchiolitis obliterans, aka ‘popcorn lung,’ and its link to vaping,” Cate Misczuk, accessed Aug. 24, 2016


“O’Dwyer & Bernstien has helped me in several different situations over the last 12 years that I’ve lived in NYC. They’re my go-to firm because they always obtain the results that I need and deserve. They’re also located in downtown Manhattan, which makes them very convenient. The office and people that work there are exactly what you’d expect from a top tier law firm in the world’s greatest city.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”