Natural American Spirits come in a fair number of varieties, each of which has a different colored box. This lets you easily identify which kind you want when you go to give yourself lung cancer
Storeperson: What do you want?
Me: Yellow Spirits
The complete set of varieties are:
- Regulars: Blue
- Mediums: Blue-Green
- Lights: Yellow
- Ultra lights: White on top, fading to yellow at the bottom
- Menthol Regulars: Dark Green
- Menthol Lights: Dark Green fading to White
- Non-Filtered: Dark Brown
- Organic Regulars: Red (sort of fuchsia, I guess)
- Organic Lights: Yellow-Orange
- Perique: Black
(They also sell loose pouch tobacco so you can roll your own
American Sprits don't have any added chemicals, so the taste is quite distinctive and pleasant. Occasionally I will taste ammonia in one; I'm not sure if this is my imagination, if they're sneaking some in (I doubt it), or if the tobacco is sprayed with ammonia as it's grown or something. Yellows are quite harsh, particularly for a 'light'. The ultra-lights have a strange, sweetish flavor that I'm not fond of. The regulars are stronger than the yellows, with a noticeable increase in nicotine and tar.
The organic varieties are essentially the same as the blues and yellows, except they are made with certified organic tobacco. I bought them once on a lark, and didn't taste any difference. Also, they were $1 more than the normal ones. The Periques are made with a special tobacco that is only grown in Louisiana. They're hard to find, and usually more expensive. However, the package is all black with red decoration, and looks very cool. Supposedly the Perique blend has a slightly spicy taste, but to me they just taste like the regulars. I've never dared try the non-filtered. Though occasionally I will rip the filter off of a regular and smoke it.
You can get some varieties in boxes (aka hard packs) but most are only available as soft packs. I prefer boxes because I'll sometimes crush my smokes when sitting, which sucks.
American Spirits are pretty expensive. The place I usually buy them from (because it's closest to my house), sells them from $5.25 ($6.25 for the organics). The cheapest I can find them is $4.35, which is still pretty damn expensive. I'm just glad I don't live in New York City.
A funny thing about American Spirits -- after 2+ years smoking them, I really can't stand other cigarettes. Every time someone gives me a cigarette at a party or whatever, I end up thinking "This is pointless, I need to go buy some Spirits". For this reason, I very rarely bum smokes off people.
As mentioned elsewhere, packs of American Spirits come with a little 'vignette fact card' with a photo and some little details. I have a depressingly large number of these things. They make good materials for home arts and crafts. For example, you can decorate your Christmas cards this year with pictures of cute little lemurs and koalas (or a less cute walrus).
Warning: No, this is a not the usual "you shouldn't smoke, it's bad for you" warning (though you shouldn't, and it is). It's specific to Spirits. OK, so this is really very anecdotal, but, for whatever reason, American Spirits seem to do very bad things to your lungs. I used to smoke Lucky Strikes, mostly. Not the most healthy things in the world, as you might imagine. Then I switched to Spirits. Within 6 months, my lung capacity was cut by a third (this was with maybe 2 or 3 a day). I've heard similar things from other people who do or have smoked Spirits.
Everything Quests - Smoking