Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, maker of the "American Spirit" brand of cigarettes, is a subsidiary of Reynolds American, (R.J. Reynolds), maker of the mainstream brands Winston and Camel. After nearly a decade of being independently owned, in 2002, Reynolds American bought Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. Nowhere on the current packaging or advertisements is the bigger company mentioned, however.

Green marketing

The American Spirit brand seeks to attract socially and environmentally-conscious smokers, and says it uses organic, pesticide-free tobacco. Santa Fe's Web site says, “Supporting sustainable agriculture is part of our commitment to reducing our footprint on the Earth, and protecting our natural resources.” It also says "We purchase electricity generated from sustainable sources, like wind power, for our facilities" and gives "eco-tips," like which plastics to avoid because they are harder to recycle.[1]

Deceptive practices

The use of the word "natural" in its brand name, the Native American pictured on its logo, and claims that it uses organic farming practices and has no additives have given many consumers the idea that American Spirit is a safer cigarette. To help remedy this, in 2000, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Santa Fe to disclose on all relevant packaging that “No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette.”[2]


Santa Fe Natural Tobacco
1 Plaza La Prensa
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Tel: (505) 982-4257

Related Sourcewatch resources

External resources


  1. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco web site, accessed January 16, 2009
  2. Jana, Plenty magazine The Green Cigarette, January 14, 2009

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