Safer Cigarettes

In the closing years of the 20th century, tobacco companies introduced heated, non-combustible tobacco products–notably RJ Reynolds’ PREMIER and Philip Morris’ ACCORD, which were the forerunners of electronic cigarettes. The last cigarette accepted by The New York Times for American Brands’ “low tar” Carlton brand, was published on April 27, 1999. In the early-2000s, Vector (formerly Liggett) advertised it new OMNI cigarettes as having “reduced carcinogens.” The company also promoted Quest, the first cigarette with step-down levels of nicotine that aimed at “nicotine-free smoking.” As if appealing to health food lovers and admirers of Native American traditions, the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (which was soon acquired by RJ Reynolds) pitched its American Spirit brand as the only cigarette made with 100% certified organic additive-free natural tobacco. This became a perfect parody for MAD Magazine: “American Success, the additive-free alternative killer.”