A lawsuit was filed this month, against the company that produces the popular “American Spirit” brand cigarettes, which are said to be organic and additive free. However, the lawsuit alleges that this is false advertising and that American Spirits use ammonia and other additives in their cigarettes.
The lawsuit was filed by American Spirits smoker Justin Sproule, and if he wins he is requesting that the company be forced to put money towards programs that help people quit smoking, along with paying him personal punitive damages.
Defendants manufacture, market, and sell Natural American Spirit cigarettes (“American Spirits”). Defendants’ product labeling and advertising describes these cigarettes as “Natural,” “Additive Free,” “100% Additive Free,” “Organic,” and an “unadulterated tobacco product.”
These terms are intended to suggest that American Spirits are healthier, safer, and present a lower risk of tobacco-related disease than other tobacco products. Defendants, however, have no competent or reliable scientific evidence to back their labeling and advertising claims. Defendants’ claims are patently deceptive, especially in today’s market, where these terms have a potent meaning for the health-and environmentally-conscious consumer. Moreover, as the FDA recently determined, American Spirits are in fact ‘adulterated.’ Using these deceptive terms, Defendants are able to successfully price American Spirits higher than other competitive cigarette brands.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the company “adds ammonia to its cigarettes to maximize the amount of freebase nicotine in its cigarettes and thus deliver more nicotine to the smoker. The more freebase nicotine, the more addictive the cigarette. American Spirits contain extremely high levels of freebase nicotine, 36 percent, compared to Camel’s 2.7 percent, Winston’s 6.2 percent, and Marlboro’s 9.6 percent.”
For years, American Spirits have been the popular brand among smokers who wanted a safer alternative but were not ready to entirely quit smoking. Now it seems that the brand’s image was just a marketing scheme, and their cigarettes may not be much different than their competitors.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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