In a case brought by consumers against the manufacturer of American Spirit cigarettes, a federal district court has ruled that use of the terms "natural," "organic," and "additive-free" in advertising to describe cigarettes may be deceptive to consumers.
Even though the product packaging includes a disclaimer that says that American Spirit cigarettes are no safer than other cigarettes, the court still found that consumers could be misled into believing otherwise because consumers are likely to associate the terms "natural," "organic," and "additive-free" with healthy products. The court also found that labeling menthol cigarettes "additive-free" could be misleading since menthol is added to the cigarette filter.
The court rejected the plaintiffs' claim, however, that use of these terms could mislead consumers into believing that the tobacco is not processed during production.
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