The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, purveyor of these fine smokes, have tried to keep me hooked to their brand by packaging little "vignette fact cards" in each pack. It's a little card with a black-and-white photo from American history. On the back is a blurb about the photo--everything from Indian chiefs to that famous Times Square kiss to the dawn of home video games--and some nifty tobacco trivia or propaganda for the company.

They're not like the other tobacco companies. They care about us.

Props to perdedor for noding vignette fact cards in great detail earlier. He/she has even used each card, where not redundant, to add to the database.

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
Storeperson: OK
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

Natural American Spirit Cigarettes

No one should ever, ever smoke.
Me? I'm an addict.

I've recently found myself a new favorite brand of cigarette. Natural American Spirit has a distinctive package. The logo on the packs is a native american in a head dress, either lifting a peace pipe to the skies or to his mouth.

The manufacturer, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company was founded in 1985 with the intent of making quality natural tobacco products. Their Mission Statement is:

To provide the world with the highest and purest quality tobacco products - with full ingredient disclosure.

In January 2002 Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company was aquired by R.J. Renyolds, but continues to make their products independently and with autonomy, with their employees, as a subsidary of R.J. Renyolds.

Aside from the usual Surgeons Generals warning on the pack there is also this:

Made with 100% chemical~additive~free, whole leaf tobacco. No reconstituted sheet tobacco. No processed stems. We make no representation expressed or implied that these cigarettes are any less hazardous than ony other cigarettes. For more inormation and a list of stores in your area call 1 (800) 332-5595.

Here is a rundown of a few of their different types of smokes.

High quality, premium tobacco
Whole leaf natural tobacco
No additives
No preservatives
No flavorings
Up to 25% more tobacco per cigarette
No reconstituted sheet tobacco
No scrap tobacco
No processed stems

Natural American Spirit Regular Filter Cigarettes
(Turquoise Pack)
The Regular Filters came out in 1985 as their original cigarette for those who want to have a full-flavored smoke from additive-free, whole leaf, natural tobacco. Tar 18.6 mg Nicotine 1.92 mg

Natural American Spirit Medium Filter Cigarettes
(Light Green pack)
The Medium Filters are made with a cigarette paper that is more than twice as porous as the paper used in their Regular Filters. This dilutes the smoke with increased levels of air, thus imparting a milder taste. Tar 17.8 mg Nicotine 1.79 mg

Natural American Spirit Light Filter Cigarettes
(Yellow Pack)
The Light Filters use a more porous cigarette paper, a perforated tipping paper, and a dense filter with a porous plug wrap. In combination, these cigarette components dilute the tobacco smoke with increased levels of air, thus providing a lighter taste with lower levels of tar and nicotine. Tar 13.3 mg Nicotine 1.40 mg

Natural American Spirit Perique Blend Filter Cigarettes I can't find these anywhere, but I'm looking.
(Black Pack)
The Perique Blend Filter Cigarettes contain a unique blend of authentic Perique tobacco and our original additive-free whole leaf tobacco. Perique tobacco is grown exclusively in St. James Parish, Louisiana, and is one of the world's rarest types of tobacco. The Perique adds a rich, spicy taste to our regular tobacco blend.Tar 20.5 mg Nicotine 2.12 mg

The only problem I have with these smokes, aside from the well documented health related issues, is the cost. I paid $5.76 for a pack this morning. I swear I was going to quit when cigarettes went over two dollars. I'm glad this is the only addiction I have.

The American History cards that humbabba mentioned have been replaced with "A Tribute to the Endangered" cards that feature animals from all over the world. Anyone need to trade cards? /msg me.

This just in ...
The Thunderbird logo on Natural American Spirit Cigarette papers printed with soy-based ink.

Sources ~
A tribute to the Endangered card, set 2, number 23 of 36. The Bilby

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