Popcorn lung, also called bronchiolitis obliterans, is a rare disease that causes inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest airways in the respiratory system in the lungs.1

The Connection Between Popcorn Lung and Vaping

The diacetyl content in vapes puts vapers at high risk of developing popcorn lung. These chemicals are addictive, so users will have a hard time stopping using them. The content of acetaldehyde, which can also be found in various types of vape, has an effect that can cause damage to the lining of user's mouth, throat, and digestive tract.1

Some cigarette companies add these diacetyl compounds to vape liquid or liquid for e-cigarettes as a complement to flavors such as vanilla, apple, coconut and others. Harvard researchers discovered diacetyl in 39 of 51 e-cigarette brands.2

Signs and Symptoms of Popcorn Lung

Popcorn Lung is similar to lung disease in general, with the following symptoms:3,4,5

1) Cough, particularly during or after exercise. Coughing can occasionally result in the production of mucus. The difference between a popcorn lung cough and other coughs is the wheezing sound caused by low oxygen levels.

2) Shortness of breath (dyspnea).

3) Chemical exposure causes irritation of the eyes, skin, mouth and nose.

4) Fever.

5) Other symptoms include night sweats, skin rashes, weight loss, and flu-like illness.


Popcorn lung treatment

            If left untreated, popcorn lung can cause permanent lung damage. Below are steps that can be taken to prevent and slow down the passage of the route are as follows:1

1) Immediately discontinue vaping.

2) The use of antibiotics or steroids to help treat inflammation in the respiratory tract, especially the bronchioles.

3) Drug administration to boost the immune system and prevent further damage to the bronchioles.

4) The administration of drugs to widen the respiratory tract so that oxygen can enter the lungs more easily.



  1. Halodoc Staff. The Dangers of Popcorn Lung, Lung Disease Due to Vape. Last reviewed: October 10, 2022. Available at: https://www.halodoc.com/artikel/bahaya-popcorn-lung-Jadi-merang-paru-paru-akibat-vape
  2. American Lung Association Staff. Popcorn Lung: A Dangerous Risk of Flavored E-Cigarettes. Last reviewed: November 17, 2022. Available at: https://www.lung.org/blog/popcorn-lung-risk-ecigs
  3. Jamaica Hospital. staff. What is Popcorn Lung and Can Vaping Cause It?. Last reviewed: 05 july 2019. Available at: https://jamaicahospital.org/newsletter/what-is-popcorn-lung-and-can-vaping-cause-it/
  4. Halodoc Staff. Get to know the 5 Symptoms of Popcorn Lung that Attacks the Lungs. Last reviewed: January 18, 2023. Available at: https://www.halodoc.com/artikel/knowledge-5-symptoms-popcorn-lung-yang-serang-lungs
  5. Cleveland Clinic Staff. Popcorn Lung (Bronchiolitis Obliterans). Last reviewed : March 16, 2022. Available at : https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22590-popcorn-lung-bronchiolitis-obliterans

Sources Picture: https://www.yesdok.com/id/article/mengenal-popcorn-lung-gejala-penyebab-dan-cara-mengobati/