Natural American Spirit, also well known as American Spirits, is a brand of cigarette and fine tobacco products manufactured by the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. Products sold by American Spirits have always been marketed as “100% Additive-Free Tobacco,” a claim which is true; however, this advertisement became controversial because consumers assumed this meant that the product might be safer or less addictive than other cigarette brands. Along with the Surgeon General tobacco warning, American Spirits’ cigarette packs also now state “no additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette.”
Bloomberg Businessweek featured an article in November of last year narrating the interesting history of the company, its success selling “additive-free, organic” cigarettes, and their ultimate trip to court. Despite an overall 17 percent decline in cigarette sales in the US between 2009 and 2014, Natural American Spirit’s sales increased 86 percent. The descriptors “natural” and “additive-free” are widely constituted as false marketing because they insinuate a reduced risk for consumers when the harmful effects of tobacco use are still very much a reality.