March 2, 2010 - California Attorney General (Jerry) Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Alleged Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products
Under the terms of the agreement, all advertisements will clearly and prominently feature the following warnings:
- For Natural American Spirit organic cigarettes: "Organic tobacco does NOT mean safer cigarettes."
- For Natural American Spirit organic roll-your-own or pouch tobacco: "Organic tobacco does NOT mean safer tobacco."
Attorneys general from 32 other states and the District of Columbia signed onto today's agreement.
Click to enlarge..
"Stamping an organic label on tobacco products is ultimately a distinction without a difference-organic or not, cigarettes are bad for your health," Brown said. "Today's settlement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company ensures that all future advertisements make it clear that organic tobacco is no safer or healthier."
Today's agreement follows Brown's contention that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (Reynolds American (RAI) is the parent company of Santa Fe) may have misled consumers in advertising its "organic" or "100% organic" Natural American Spirit cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco and pouches, leading consumers to believe these products were less harmful than other tobacco products. There is currently no competent or reliable scientific evidence to support this conclusion.
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company has 30 days to meet these requirements, and all tobacco retailers selling these products must be contacted and instructed to dispose of old advertisements that do not feature these disclosures.
Organic tobacco is certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program. To receive organic certification, tobacco farmers have to follow a strict, labor-intensive growing regimen. Certified organic tobacco is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers prohibited under the program.
Thirty-two other attorneys general signed onto Brown's agreement today from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Additionally, the attorney general of the District of Columbia signed onto the agreement.
Brown's agreement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. ASSURANCE OF VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE..
Reference: Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Alleged Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products, Office of CA Attorney General, 3/1/2010; Pure Poison Natural American Spirit’s Clean Carcinogen by Sharon Lerner, VillageVoice.com, 3/21/2000. Tuesday, Mar 21 2000.