category factcheck
score False 🟥🟥🟥🟥🟥
claim "Vaping risks diabetes"
author New York Post / Ben Cost
tags ['third-party-fact-check', 'popcorn-news', 'pr-study', 'title-exacerbation']


Prediabetes junk news associated with NYPost

Likely the worst article that parrots a PR study attributing prediabetes risk to e-cigarettes (for mostly former smokers), despite the study itself not sustaining that claim. Respecting the 24h rule or a plausibility check for medical news is seemingly out of scope for the NYPost. They're also either unaware of Johns Hopkins` reputation in this field, or possibly even satirizing themselves.

PR study attributes prediabetes to e-cig usage

phrasing check

  • Title jumps from the orignal wishy-washy "prediabetes" right to diabetes claims.
  • Scientists at one of America’s leading medical research universities - questionable on this topic.
  • an “important” new study - important mostly for sustaining funding perhaps.
  • as a serious wake-up call for e-cigarette smokers. - nope.
  • “Our study demonstrated a clear association of prediabetes risk with the use of e-cigarettes,” - it takes like all of 2 minutes to visit the journal and peek at the "Limitations" section, which spells out the lack of causality.
  • e-cigarettes carry a similar risk to traditional cigarettes with respect to diabetes - not what the numbers say, Ben.
  • trendy e-cigarettes have been linked to …, erectile dysfunction" - same lack of causility, different NYP author though.
  • after analyzing the health data - well, yeah, it's technically data once it's in a database; but still from a telephone survey.
  • those who vape … are 22% more likely … traditional cigarette users were 40% …" - so author aware of the discrepancy.
  • nicotine has a detrimental effect on insulin action - 🟩 correct
  • electronic tobacco dispensers - unclear, possibly means HTP?
  • traditional cancer sticks - 🟩 approved
  • Researchers found the correlation particularly alarming as e-cigarettes, … have been promoted by UK public health officials. - maybe the more objective research could have been a clue, that reducing COPD + stroke + cancer deaths is slightly more important than side scares.
  • … because they are touted as a safer alternative, which we now know is not the case,” said Biswal. - see hint on "no reputable scientist".

vaped crusaders respond

Amanda Wheeler had a more detailed response to this article, so:


These news stories are not consequence-free. Scaring people back to smoking will cause morbidity and death. Unfortunately the US media landscape has ethics comparable to their privatized public health sector.

Other potential issues in article