AGs reach agreement with American Spirit

By Kathy Woods | Mar 4, 2010

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General and 32 other attorneys general have reached an agreement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. that the company must disclose that their natural cigarette is "no safer or healthier" than other tobacco products.

The privately held company based in New Mexico was founded in 1982 and has been advertising their American Spirit cigarettes as addictive-free. On their Web site they boast that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company's product may be the "closest thing to a peace pipe."

Under the terms of the agreement, the company must clearly and prominently feature warnings that feature the following: 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."

"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."

Under the agreement the company has until April 1 to comply and must notify retailers to dispose of all old products that do not contain the warnings.

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.

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