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Hoax Alert

Fake News: E-Cigarettes NOT Found To Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients Than Regular Cigarettes

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:32:49 Z)

Do electronic cigarettes contain ten times more "cancer causing ingredients" compared to regular ones? Just like cigarette smoke this old hoax story keeps on lingering in the air, going full-on viral again from time to time.

The latest incarnation is an article published on March 5, 2018 on 'tetribe.net' titled "E-Cigarettes Found To Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients Than Regular Cigarettes" (archived here) which opened:

New research has found electronic cigarettes to contain even 10 times more cancer causing ingredients than the tobacco products they are supposed to save us from.

E-cigarettes are meant to replace a dangerous and life destroying habit, but they turned out to be far more dangerous. But why wasn't there any research prior to their approval and production - a research that was supposed to prove their safety and viability? And who was responsible for that?

Screenshot of http://tetribe.net/e-cigarettes-found-to-have-10-times-more-cancer-causing-ingredients-than-regular-cigarettes/

Like with most old hoaxes, Snopes already debunked this one in May 2017:

FACT CHECK: Do E-Cigarettes Really Contain Ten Times the Carcinogens of Tobacco Cigarettes?

A Japanese study found electronic cigarettes (popularly called "e-cigs") contain ten times as many carcinogens as tobacco cigarettes. Mostly False A 2014 study conducted in Japan examined formaldehyde levels in electronic cigarette vapor; early and inaccurate summaries of that research led to rumors that e-cigarettes contain ten times more carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes.

The current version of the story seems to be mostly a rehash of the old one, with some additional paragraphs added in the middle, perhaps to mislead anti-plagiarism detection tools. In any case, you can clearly see the first part of the old article is identical to the new one.

We wrote about tetribe.net before, here is our previous article that mentions the site:

Clearly sounds like the kind of site you should be getting medical advice from...

The website tetribe.net seems to be part of a wider trend of fake Native American themed websites that publish rehashed content from variouis other websites, including articles about actual Native American issues but also fake news and health scares. Mediamatters discovered several such sites are being operated in places like Kosovo.

Lead Stories noticed thetribe.net seems to be using the Google Adsense ID "ca-pub-6312226304022123" which we also found on the now defunct website theearthtribe.net. That site had the exact same image as a logo, as you can see in this archived screengrab from an old story that ran there:

Video: Couple Proves Facebook Listens In On Conversations With Simple...

What happens when you talk about a random item with your cell phone around? If you have Facebook's Messenger app, apparently, your phone is listening - and feeding your information to Facebook. The YouTube user Neville conducted a simple experiment after suspecting Facebook was listening in to his conversations through his cell phone's microphone - even when the phone is not in use.

And according to WHOIS registration data this site was set up by someone in Australia:

DOMAIN INFORMATION
Domain:theearthtribe.net
Registrar:Crazy Domains FZ-LLC
Registration Date:2017-06-14
Expiration Date:2019-06-14
Updated Date:2017-08-28
Status:ok
Name Servers:ara.ns.cloudflare.com
logan.ns.cloudflare.com
REGISTRANT CONTACT
Name:LUKE O'HEHIR
Street:1 / 37 ARGYLE AVE CHELSEA
City:VIC
State:VIC
Postal Code:3196
Country:AU

Luke seems to be running several other similar websites, we'll be following them with great interest...

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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