Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company is now facing litigations over claims that its American Spirit cigarettes are “natural” and “additive-free,” two claims that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has insisted are misleading.
The American Spirit has been in the market for nearly three decades, and federal authorities continue to look into health or ingredients claims made by the manufacturer, insisting these claims are not really true and leading consumers to go for the brand more.
A Florida law firm earlier this week filed a class-action against American Spirit’s manufacturer and their parent company, Reynolds American Inc. of Winston-Salem in North Carolina. The litigants claim in their action lawsuit that the advertising claims and packaging of the cigarettes are false and inducing consumers to smoke it out of a false sense that it is healthier than other tobacco products.
Under the filed case, the litigants insist the FDA had earlier issued a warming to the Santa Fe tobacco company that their claims of “natural” and “additive-free” violate federal law. Meanwhile, a consent order agreed to by the company in 2000 from the Federal Trade Commission mandated the company to include the clause “No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette” as a disclosure in their advertisements.
Parent company Reynolds American earlier this week disclosed they are selling off their rights in the Natural American Spirit cigarettes outside of the US for $5 billion to Japan Tobacco Group.
Reynolds American remains the parent company to Pall Mall, Newport, and Camel among others. International rights and trademarks might be sold out to sweeten a deal, but the company will keep the rights to the sales of the natural cigarettes within the US.
Susan M. Cameron, president and chief executive of Reynolds American stated that selling the rights will help the company to better handle sales within the US, and that this would better demonstrate their commitment to creating value for customers and shareholders.
There is no need mentioning the fact that cigarettes generally have been experiencing reduced sales since e-cigarettes came on the scene.