Descriptors such as “natural” and “made from organic tobacco” in the marketing of Natural American Spirit cigarettes imply reduced risk of toxic exposures. Studies show that smokers perceive these cigarettes as being less harmful than other brands, which is why they choose them.
There is very limited data on the levels of key harmful chemicals in Natural American Spirit cigarettes. To learn more, University of Minnesota researchers carried out a comprehensive chemical analysis of 13 different varieties of Natural American Spirit cigarettes. The study, which was led by University of Minnesota School of Public Health associate professor and Masonic Cancer Center member Dr. Irina Stepanov, was recently published in the journal Tobacco Regulatory Science.
The researchers investigated both the tobacco used in Natural American Spirit cigarettes and the smoke they produce.
The study found:
“While some of the misleading descriptors that have been used in advertisements of Natural American Spirit cigarettes are no longer permitted, the use of words such as ‘organic’ and ‘tobacco and water,’ along with the ‘Natural’ in the name of the brand is still misleading,” said Dr. Stepanov. “I hope the results of this study can reach at least some smokers of Natural American Spirit cigarettes and help in correcting the misperception that these cigarettes are somehow healthier than other brands.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 12