Posted by Anne Landman on January 16, 2009

green cigarettesThe Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, maker of the niche brand "American Spirit" cigarettes, is trying to lure environmentally conscious smokers with certified organic, pesticide-free tobacco. Santa Fe, which markets itself as an "earth friendly" and "socially progressive" tobacco company, is actually owned by R.J. Reynolds (now Reynolds American), maker of the mainstream brands Camel and Winston. Santa Fe does not indicate its relationship with RJR anywhere on American Spirit's packaging or in its advertisements. The use of the word "natural," the Native American on its logo, and marketing of its tobacco as "pesticide free" and grown using sustainable farming practices have all helped mislead consumers that American Spirit cigarettes are safer than others. Because it is an independent subsidiary of RJR, Santa Fe can also elude decisions made by its parent company. For example, last November, RJR announced it was going to stop advertising its brands in newspapers and magazines, but Santa Fe continued advertising in periodicals. In 1994, Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro, also targeting hip, environmentally-conscious smokers with a fake "micro-brew" cigarette brand called Dave's, but when people found out the brand was really owned by Philip Morris, it disappeared.

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Comments

This kind of advertising and "parent"-"child" company business methods are far from new. I think it was clark forklifts that tried to claim they introduced electric style forklifts- an environmentally conscience alternative when the product had existed for quite some time. Same concept. One company striking a niche or trying to capitalize on whatever is in (being green nowadays) and being exposed. Clark shutdown just like american spirit will. Black hat marketing only works for so long.

There is nothing “natural” about smoking. Besides that, the main ingredient in tobacco, Nicotine, is the prominent toxin, regardless of the presence or absence of additives.

Furthermore at least one study has determined that Santa Fe Tobacco's cigarettes are even more addictive than most brands because the molecular structure of the nicotine is such that it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which intensifies addictiveness.
And yet these cigarettes are just as damaging to the human organism.

Whether independent or owned by RJR or any of the "mainstreams," Santa Fe Tobacco is a tobacco company, the products of which burden our society with avoidable disease and premature death – and immeasurable grief and tragedy.

Unlike alcohol - even in moderation, one cigarette is 100% worse than no cigarette, as every cigarette stresses the body with pollutants and vasoconstriction, although this is disguised by the ostensible sense of "relief" that results from nicotine's effect on the brain function that controls the natural chemicals in our bodies.

Santa Fe Tobacco's boasts about additive-free or organic tobacco and "sustainable" practices would be laughable – but sadly, they have made some inroads among otherwise health-minded, conscious people - and even some nonnsmokers believe that "American Spirits aren't as bad as regular cigarettes...because...they're organic!"

The brightest people seem to get stupid about smoking - but is it really stupidity - or subliminal mind-control on the part of the tobacco company? I'd say it's the latter, aided by any degree of innocence and wishful thinking..........

As a member of the progressive/enviro/artistic community I have directly noted the relative success of organic tobacco products - and it is an alarming aberration to the general positive trend towards marginalization of smoking in this population.

Santa Fe Tobacco Company is just another tobacco company trying to peddle its products - but an especially insidious one that exploits terms such as "Sustainable," "Additive-free," "organic," and even "local farmer," along with claims of “transparency” and pretense as a responsible company, passing itself off as “progressive” for the purpose of selling products that are addictive and toxic when used as directed – and that have no redeeming value whatsoever to society for all the burden they cause. They were doing this independently and on their own years before RJR bought them.

I rarely have the chance to read such nice things about tobacco. I never thought about the perspective of environmental friendly tobacco, I always thought about cigarettes as an important addiction source for millions of people. I think this is what should concern us more, how to make cigarettes less addictive and less dangerous for our health. There are currently thousands of people in drug rehab just because of that.

Whether independent or owned by RJR or any of the "mainstreams," Santa Fe Tobacco is a tobacco company, the products of which burden our society with avoidable disease and premature death – and immeasurable grief and tragedy.