FACT CHECK:   Is the U.S. government installing listening devices in Dutch Masters and Swisher Sweets brand cigars?

Claim:   The United States government is installing listening devices in packages of Dutch Masters and Swisher Sweets brand cigars in order to spy on American citizens.

  FALSE

Example:     [Collected via YouTube, July 2015]

Origins:    In July 2015, two videos purportedly showing listening devices hidden within the packaging of Swisher Sweets and Dutch Masters brand cigars began circulating oneline. One video (seen above) was uploaded by NewsWatch33 and the other (seen below) by Huzlers:

Both videos were linked to fake news articles claiming that the federal government had implanted secret listening devices into the cigar packages:

Rumors have been circulating on the internet about certain government agencies installing listening devices inside of cell phones and other electronic devices. According to one resident from the Bronx, they’ve also added these devices in well known cigar brands, which some used for marijuana.

There is no truth to the above-quoted story: Newswatch33 and Huzlers are both fake news sites that do not publish factual information.

While the videos used to accompany the fake news stories were real, what they displayed were shoplift prevention anti-theft systems and not government-planted listening devices.

Last updated:      10 July 2015

Originally published:    10 July 2015