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Responsible Marketing

Smokes that Al Gore would love?

By March 5, 2008June 28th, 20214 Comments

Natural American Spirit Organic Cigarettes

Are you a green smoker? Not green from emphysema, but green as in environmentally responsible.

A little about Natural American Spirit Organic Cigarettes:

We grow our premium natural tobacco in a responsible, sustainable way through our earth-friendly and organic growing programs.

We also strive to reduce our footprint on the earth by using recycled materials and renewable energy sources like wind power.

Protecting the earth is as important to us as it is to you.

Natural American Spirit was founded in 1982 and was purchased by Reynolds American in 2002. Reynolds appears to have let the company maintain its position as an environmentally friendly tobacco company.

Go to their homepage, and you’ll be required to enter your birth date and answer whether you smoke or not. Of course, if you are too young, you are turned away. More impressive is the fact that if you say you aren’t a smoker, they tell you not to start and deny entry.

They use 100% sustainable power, are supporting philanthropic programs for Native Americans, and seem like generally good people.

I guess if I was a smoker, I’d consider them.

My inspiration for the post was from ATIS547’s Flickr photostream. His comment sums up the irony of organic cigarettes:

American Spirit wins the STUPID AWARD, by offering the ecologically responsible way to kill yourself and your loved ones.

I especially love: “Protecting the earth is as important to us as it is to you.” — In other words, the earth is fine — it’s YOU we’d like to see dead.

Has Natural American Spirit simply found a niche and is serving it in the most responsible way possible?

Or are the folks at Natural American being hypocritical by selling an addictive carcinogenic product that’s sugar-coated green?

What do you think? Responsible or not?


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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • I’m mixed about this, frankly.

    While I think a natural/organic cigarette is certainly better than the usual chemical soup, I see any cigarettes as a long way from socially responsible. Cigarettes cause serious health and pollution problems. Its ownership by Reynolds is also somewhat troubling.

    Remember: arsenic and I believe even anthrax are found in nature.

    Of course, one could make a case that say, Ben & Jerry’s is in the same category, with its high fat and sugar content. And then there’s the matter of big oil companies and megaretailers investing in solar–so where do you draw the line?

    Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First ( and founder of the Business Ethics Pledge (

  • Deston says:

    The appeal is hilarious in a very sick, macabre way. Going after the Birkenstock smokers perhaps?

  • Believe it or not, 100% Organic Tobacco does NOT cause cancer. PESTICIDES KILL!

  • Alex says:

    I’ve been browsing around some of their other advertising, and it looks like they are not only proponents of being environmentally friendly, but also only smoking in MODERATION and enjoying it for the taste.

    Commendable, I guess. I also like that it clearly states that being natural does not make the cigarette any safer.

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