Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of tobacco-addiction fighter Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX) went down in flames today, falling as much as 10.8% on rather average trading volume.

So what: Drastic jumps and falls should be routine to Star investors by now, since the mere hint of real news can send the heavily shorted microcap soaring or drowning. Today is no exception to that rule; the only news available is a self-serving opinion piece on Seeking Alpha from a trader with a short position in the stock.

Now what: This story should sound familiar to anyone following insurance software wrangler Ebix (Nasdaq: EBIX) or Chinese fertilizer giant Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG): Some trader of limited repute takes the stage at Seeking Alpha to make downright brutal claims about a stock he or she is already shorting.

Granted, Star Scientific sits on a precarious balance sheet with minimal revenue,  and it doesn't look likely to deserve its $570 million market cap. On the other hand, the company has a potentially game-changing lawsuit going on against tobacco giant Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI), and it recently got a positive FDA ruling on two of its smokeless nicotine tablets. There could be a serious business model forming here.

I'd advocate a hands-off approach to this stock. It's simply too easily manipulated in either direction to make it a serious investment today -- long or short. And for much the same reason, I'd keep the salt shaker ready when reading anything from Seeking Alpha.

Interested in more info on Star Scientific? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Yongye International and Ebix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ebix and Yongye International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.