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The flip side of Natural American Spirit: corporate social responsibility advertising
  1. Anna E Epperson,
  2. Judith J Prochaska,
  3. Lisa Henriksen
  1. Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anna E Epperson, Stanford Prevention Research Center, 1265 Welch Road, Suite 300, Stanford, CA 94305-5411, USA; aepper{at}

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The flip side of Natural American Spirit cigarette packs now align the brand with ‘Respect for the Earth’, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign. It champions a ‘100% zero-waste-to-landfill’ manufacturing facility, ‘earth-friendly tobacco’, easier pack recycling, and ‘U.S.-grown tobacco’ (figure 1). Such marketing appeals to biospheric values, with emphasis on the intrinsic value of the ecosystem, implying a moral imperative to act pro-environmentally.1–3 Biospheric values inspire consumers to pay a premium for products perceived as eco-friendly, such as energy-efficient appliances and organic foods.3 Notably, the market share for premium-priced Natural American Spirit increased by more than 400% since 2002,4 even as the number of cigarette smokers in the USA declined to a record low.5

Figure 1

Front and back of four types of Natural American Spirit cigarette packs with ‘Respect for the Earth’ campaign.

In reality, biospheric values are entirely incompatible with smoking cigarettes of …

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