From Popcorn Lung to Vaping Lung, the Systemic Criminal Negligence of America Inc.

Imagine being trapped in an endless nightmare where corporations are free to sell you products known to be deadly. You buy a blood thinner your doctor ordered that can cause you to hemorrhage to death because there is no antidote.  The breast implant you just received has been known to cause cancer.  Finally you are encouraged to buy e- cigarettes that are laced with known toxins that can destroy your lungs.  Welcome to America Inc.


·      A deadly lung condition was reported in microwave popcorn plant workers in Missouri who had been inhaling the butter flavoring vapors while working.  The potential toxicity of the vapors had been known since 1986. ((PDF) Popcorn-worker Lung Caused by Corporate and Regulatory Negligence: An Avoidable Tragedy).   E-cigarettes not only contain addicting nicotine but a cloud of toxins.  39 of 51 e- cigarettes tested contained some of the same chemical that caused popcorn lung. (Flavoring Chemicals in E-Cigarettes: Diacetyl, 2,3-Pentanedione, and Acetoin in a Sample of 51 Products, Including Fruit-, Candy-, and Cocktail-Flavored E-Cigarettes).

In 2004—

NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health),  issued an Alert to Workers Who Use or Make Flavorings which stated, “breathing certain flavoring chemicals in the workplace may lead to severe lung damage” (  They add that the safely of these chemicals has not been established for inhaling them.


·      Sold to millions of people, E-cigarettes, which contained multiple known toxins in their vapor, were freely and legally allowed to come to the US market. They were not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or any other agency.


The CDC (Center for Disease Control) again warns that breathing in flavoring chemicals may cause severe lung damage.

In 2014—

The first scientific paper to study human exposure to flavorings in e-cigarettes was published.

By 2016 —

The e-cigarettes companies had made over $11 Billion in profits, while freely selling known lung toxins to millions of people.

In 2016—

The Surgeon General warns about the dangers to the lungs of flavorings and other toxins in e-cigarette smoke.  Yet e-cigarettes continued to be freely and legally sold.   Over 7,000 e-cigarette flavors  are currently on the market and less than 1% have established recommended safety exposure limit.

In 2017—

The FDA allowed e-cigarettes to remain unregulated on the market until at least 2022.( Federal Judge Rules FDA Acted Illegally in Delaying Required Review of E-Cigarettes, Cigars)


After hundreds of people had suffered lung damage and some died as a result of vaping, the FDA starts working on a plan to regulate e-cigarettes. (FDA chief: Agency ‘should have acted sooner’ to curb teen vaping)


“Deputy Director of the C.D.C. says that consumers had no way of knowing just what is in the liquids they are vaping”.  (Dank Vapes, TKO and Other THC Vaping Brands Are Linked to Illnesses, C.D.C. Says)

As with the tobacco industry, corporations have no economic incentive to make the health risks of their products public.  Corporations are driven by short term profits not health and safety.  Federal and State regulations did not protect popcorn workers or those who use e- cigarettes.

The US has toothless agencies that give the illusion of protecting the public health but do more to protect corporate profits.  We will continue to live this public nightmare until we, the people, act to end it.

Dr. Nayvin Gordon is a Family Physician in California who has written many articles on Health and Politics. He can be reached at Read other articles by Nayvin.