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In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to makers of Natural American Spirit (NAS) and Nat Sherman cigarettes regarding their use of misleading descriptors such as ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ on product labels and advertising.1 2 The result was a 2017 agreement to remove the terms ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ as claims, while still allowing NAS to retain the word ‘natural’ in its brand name.3 The agreement also allowed the use of the term ‘organic’ and a specific claim: ‘Tobacco Ingredients: Tobacco and Water’—both claims that have been utilised in previous NAS ads.
Post-agreement ads for NAS (owned by Reynolds American) now claim its cigarettes are ‘real’, ‘simple’ and ‘different’, and made of only two ingredients: tobacco and water (figure 1). The implied message is clear: these cigarettes are different (from other …
Contributors MJL, MJ and CA conceived the paper. MJL and MJ led the writing and editing of the paper. CA contributed to editing of the paper.
Funding This work was supported in part by NCI and FDA Centre for Tobacco Products (CTP) under U54CA229973.
Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCI or FDA.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.