breaking news

Local artists to open home and bath store in downtown Springfield

Some lawsuits can proceed over cigarettes touted as natural

A U.S. judge in New Mexico has dismissed more than two dozen complaints against the maker of American Spirit cigarettes but is allowing others to move forward over a line of tobacco touted as natural.

Scores of plaintiffs from at least a dozen states sued Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. and its parent company, Reynolds American Inc., after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found in 2015 that consumers were misled about risks associated with the products.

In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge James Browning cited various state laws as he weeded out some complaints that were consolidated in his court, The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported .

Among those were lawsuits filed in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington state.

Some of the claims he rejected alleged that the company labeled cigarettes as "additive free" and "natural" to try to suggest its products were less processed than other cigarettes. The company still faces legal battles over marketing efforts.

Browning approved sending three lawsuits to a federal court in North Carolina, where operations for Reynolds American Inc. are based. He also ruled that the First Amendment does not shield the company from liability.

In 2002, Reynolds acquired Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., which was founded in New Mexico more than three decades ago, for $340 million. Santa Fe Natural Tobacco has declined to comment on the litigation.

In an agreement with the FDA, the company stopped labeling products as additive-free and restricted the use of the term "natural." Santa Fe Natural Tobacco had consistently used those terms along with a logo featuring a pipe-smoking American Indian in a feathered headdress.

It maintained offices in Santa Fe after its acquisition by Reynolds, which reportedly began offering buyouts to employees in advance of its sale this year to British American Tobacco.


Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Health

How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton

Growing up in Dayton left an indelible imprint on Bill and Erma Bombeck – and they, in turn, now leave an enduring legacy in their hometown. Bill Bombeck died Jan. 12 in Phoenix, Ariz., and he soon will be buried alongside his wife in Dayton’s historic Woodland Cemetery. But the couple will live on in the hearts of many friends in the Dayton...
The Kid Whisperer: What to do about the child who cries, cries, cries

Dear Kid Whisperer, I’m curious about crying tantrums. We have a strong-willed 6-year old girl who cries about everything lately. She cries over us not buying a toy or what she eats for breakfast. I offer her a hug, tell her I am sad that she is sad and tell her that it’s too loud and we can’t hear each other. I am gentle and loving...
Parenting with Dr. Ramey: What’s dangerous about the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule advising that you should behave towards others as you’d like to be treated seems reasonable — but in fact, represents a dangerous and wrong way of thinking about the world. Lee Ross and his social psychology colleagues have called this blunder in thinking “naive realism.” Avoiding this error will make you a better...
D.L. STEWART: Real men wear short coats because being cold is cool

A letter writer to the chief fashion critic at The New York Times asked a question in last Tuesday’s edition. “My son is in college in Maine,” AMY, PELHAM, N.Y., wrote, “and the temperature is frequently below zero. It seems like every woman is swathed in an ankle-length black puffer coat from November to March. So why do men...
Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Irish Spring Body Wash This week at Rite-Aid, Irish Spring body wash is on sale for $3.99. In most of your Rite-Aid ad inserts, you should find a coupon for this product that will drop the price down to $1.99. Also, use the $1 off one Irish Spring body wash manufacturer...
More Stories