Back in 1997, when we first began to market Smoke Away, we wanted to provide a natural alternative to assist smokers in their efforts to quit smoking. It was important to us that we provide a program that did not add more nicotine to your body or replace one form of nicotine delivery with another. The Smoke Away program includes herbal, homeopathic and audio support. We were very comfortable that the Smoke Away Stop Smoking Support Program met our goal.
In the early months of the program’s launch, we began to receive feedback from our customers about their experience with Smoke Away. Many were reporting that, with the help of Smoke Away, they were able to quit smoking within the first few days of their attempt. Based on this feedback, we began to market Smoke Away as a program that would help you quit smoking in 7 days, or your money back. We began to advertise with this message on radio and television. This was a very successful message and we continued to receive the same positive feedback from our happy customers.
In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) contacted us and challenged some of the claims that we were making regarding Smoke Away. While we were very comfortable with everything that was in our advertising, and that we were providing a program that was truly helping the public, there are rules regarding claims that can be made about herbal supplements unless one has sufficient scientific evidence that supports those claims. In the opinion of the FTC, we did not possess the scientific evidence necessary to make the claims we were making. The FTC asserted that we were misleading the public. We strongly disagreed and in order to settle the matter and avoid a long, expensive legal battle, we agreed to pay a fine and stop making the claims in question, while not admitting to any wrongdoing. This is a decision that many businesses face—whether to fight for what you know is right and possibly go bankrupt doing it, or pay a fine, admit no wrongdoing and stay in business. At no time did the FTC make any assertions about the quality or safety of the Smoke Away program and did not attempt to prevent us from continuing to market the program, as long as we discontinued the use of the claims in question.
We have continued to sell and market Smoke Away since the settlement with the FTC, and plan to continue for as long as there are people smoking cigarettes. We firmly believe that the Smoke Away program is a quality program that has provided a great service to smokers across the country. We are extremely proud of the fact that Smoke Away has helped so many people change their lives and take a great deal of satisfaction in continuing to hear their success stories.