Tobacco Regulatory Science   |  July 9, 2019

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Objectives: Marketing of the Natural American Spirit (NAS) cigarettes implies reduced risk of toxic exposures. We aimed to provide a comprehensive chemical characterization of these cigarettes. Methods: We analyzed 13 varieties of NAS for a range of tobacco- and combustion-derived constituents. Cigarettes were smoked by 2 standard regimens and analyzed using our routine analytical procedures. We also analyzed tobacco filler and physical cigarette characteristics. Results: Under intense smoking conditions, nicotine in smoke of NAS cigarettes averaged 3.3(±0.7) mg/cigarette, compared to 2.4(±0.4) in other brands. The levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines NNN and NNK varied extensively across NAS varieties, their sum ranging from 71 to 443 ng/cigarette. Levels of volatile toxicants were generally similar to, or higher than those found in other commercial US cigarettes. Conclusions: High nicotine content suggests that NAS cigarettes may be more addictive than many other brands. Similarly low TSNA levels were measured in some NAS varieties, independent of whether or not they were labeled as organic. Levels of other toxicants were similar to other brands. Consumer education and additional regulatory measures are needed to address the misperceptions that NAS cigarettes are safer than other commercial cigarette brands.

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