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Organic tobacco company agrees to disclaimer

By John O'Brien | Mar 4, 2010


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc., has reached a settlement that will require the cigarette-maker to place a disclaimer on their advertisements for organic tobacco.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said he and several other state attorneys general worried that the company's current marketing and advertising led customers to believe that organic tobacco is less harmful than other tobacco.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia took part in the settlement.

"This court action is about protecting the consumers of Pennsylvania," Corbett said. "We need to make sure that people are not being led to believe that these organic tobacco products are less harmful than any other tobacco products."

Now, the company will be required to place "Organic tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette" on its advertisements.

Deceptive advertisements violate the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, Corbett said.

The MSA, signed by 46 states and six territories, has an estimated worth of $250 billion over its first 25 years.

In addition to Pennsylvania, the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin have all signed on to the Sante Fe agreement.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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