Natural American Spirit

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Natural American Spirit
Product type Cigarette
Produced by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Reynolds American
Introduced 1982
Website Official Website

Natural American Spirit (often referred to as American Spirits) is a brand of cigarette and tobacco products manufactured in the United States by the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. The company was founded in 1982 by Bill Drake, author of “The Cultivators Handbook of Natural Tobacco”, Robert Marion, an acupuncturist who has been described as a hippie, and Eb Wicks, a plumbing contractor who took out a loan to finance the startup.[1] In November 2001 the company was acquired by Reynolds American and is now a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Reynolds American, which is in turn 42% owned by British American Tobacco.[2] Despite being acquired by a major tobacco corporation, the company maintains that "we're the same company we've always been with the same values and commitment we've always had to producing the highest quality tobacco products".[3]

Marketing controversy[edit]

Natural American Spirit products are marketed as being "100% Additive-Free Tobacco", though they are required to include the standard generic Surgeon General tobacco warning on the packs and the company is required by federal regulation to state "no additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette". This was part of an FTC ruling in 2000 and agreement resulting from allegations that the advertisement of additive-free cigarettes made consumers feel that the product might be less addictive or safer than regular cigarettes.[4] Research by US and German government health agencies has found significant levels of nitrates even in pure additive-free tobacco and its smoke.[5]

California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced on March 1, 2010, that his office has secured an agreement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc., the manufacturer of American Spirit tobacco products, that requires the company to clearly disclose that its organic tobacco is "no safer or healthier" than other tobacco products. Attorneys general from 32 other states and the District of Columbia signed onto the agreement: 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.[6]



Natural American Spirit offers various types of filter cigarettes which are color coded to denote the nicotine and tar content. According to Santa Fe, these all use the same tobacco, but the nicotine and tar contents which are released are altered by using different filters and cigarette paper.[7] American Spirit also a has a Perique Blend Filter cigarette, which contains 10% Perique tobacco, and a Organic Filter cigarette, which contains organic tobacco.[7]

Natural American Spirit offers several "Roll Your Own" tobaccos in tins and pouches which included cigarette rolling papers.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "R.J. Reynolds buys Santa Fe Natural". Lakeland Ledger (Raleigh). 23 November 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc.". Federal Trade Commission. 16 June 2000. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Fischer, Sophia; Spiegelhalder, Bertold; Preussmann, Rudolf (1989). "Preformed tobacco-specific nitrosamines in tobacco—role of nitrate and influence of tobacco type". Carcinogenesis (IRL Press) 10 (8): 1511–1517. doi:10.1093/carcin/10.8.1511. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Alleged Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products". State of California Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2014.  California Attorney General's Press Release March 01, 2010
  7. ^ a b "Cigarettes". Natural American Spirit Germany. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company: Germany GmbH. 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

External links[edit]