A tobacco company that focuses on renewable energy and hybrid vehicles has launched a new magazine ad for an “eco-friendly” cigarette.These additive-free, organic cigarettes are causing environmental activists and anit-tobaccoists to fume.
We’ve talked about eco-friendly cigarettes before but these aren’t quite the same.
These ads are for Natural American Spirit cigarettes, making that “eco-friendly” claim next to a list of the manufacturer’s environmental efforts. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., the company who produces the cigarettes, says it’s not saying its cigarettes are safer but, instead, in its manufacturing practices. Their facilities are wind-powered, the farmers use fewer chemicals and 70% of the sales staff drive hybrid vehicles.
Vince Willmore of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calls the ad “egregious”, commenting that, “It’s trying to greenwash a deadly and addictive product. When you hear a product is eco-friendly, you think it’s better for you.”
Spokesman Seth Moskowitz disregards this, explaining that the company tries “to be good stewards of the environment”. We think it’s green-washing, a top contender in trying to influence our daily decisions.
This isn’t the first time for complaints for this company. In 2000, after advertising that their cigarettes are additive-free, they were required by the Federal Trade Commission to include “No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette” on their packaging. Ten years later, after marketing it as organic, they had to further emphasize that lack of safety after 33 attorneys pushed back. electronic cigarettes
Although the new ads include these disclaimers, more action needs to be taken.
What do you think about these ads? If you haven’t seen them yet, they appear in magazines such as Esquire, Field & Stream, Wired, Mother Jones, Elle and Marie Claire.
Read more about Natural American Spirit cigarettes here.