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The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company is a tobacco manufacturer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, best known for its production of the Natural American Spirit cigarette brand. The company was purchased by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 2001 and is currently a division of Reynolds American.
A controversy emerged surrounding this brand for its claims to be natural, purportedly often misconstrued as meaning that the product is healthier for a smoker. In 2007, Reynolds American was criticized by the United States Department of Justice for making deceptive statements about "natural" tobacco products:
All these activities, despite being carried out beyond our shores, were part of the Defendants’ scheme to defraud the American public about the adverse health effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke. The activities which took place abroad were all devoted to advancing and furthering the efforts of the Defendants to mislead and deceive American smokers and potential smokers about the lower health risks of “low tar,” “lite,” “ultra lite,” “mild” and “natural” cigarettes, as well as the dangers of smoking, nicotine addiction, and environmental tobacco smoke.
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