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22nd Century (XXII) Expands VLN Cigarettes to 1,200 Drug Stores

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In a landmark achievement that signifies an important step forward in the realm of tobacco harm reduction, 22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII - Free Report) has launched FDA-approved VLN reduced-nicotine-content cigarettes. These innovative products are now accessible at more than 1,200 drug store locations across Texas, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Georgia, beginning in September.

This expansion marks a significant increase in the accessibility of VLN products, bringing the total number of stores carrying VLN to more than 4,000 across 16 states. This shows remarkable growth in the count from approximately 1,100 stores as of Jul 1. John Miller, the interim chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group, emphasized the role of VLN in providing a clinically researched solution to help adult smokers gradually reduce their smoking habit and associated health risks.

Research conducted among VLN users has yielded positive feedback, with a majority reporting that the product has aided them in reducing their consumption of regular cigarettes. Miller highlighted, "Research with VLN users indicates that while most non-prescription methods of quitting or reducing smoking are strongly disliked, more than 75% of VLN users say they like their experience with the product. As a result of using VLN, 80% of adult consumers report a reduction in usage of their regular brand, and many want to share their positive experience with other adult smokers."

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What distinguishes VLN is its unique status as the first and only FDA-authorized combustible cigarette labeled as a tobacco harm-reduction product. Independent scientific studies, along with comprehensive FDA reviews, have demonstrated that lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes has the potential to significantly mitigate the burden of smoking-related deaths and diseases. It is estimated that a nicotine product standard with 95% less nicotine than conventional U.S. cigarettes could potentially save millions of lives and tens of millions of life years over the coming years.

22nd Century Group's distribution agreements with the top U.S. C-Store product distributors and regional distributors have paved the way for the robust growth of VLN's presence in convenience stores, mass merchants and drug stores. VLN cigarettes represent a remarkable breakthrough as the first and only combustible cigarettes that the FDA has authorized as Modified Risk Tobacco Products.

The VLN King and VLN Menthol King variants contain a staggering 95% less nicotine than traditional addictive cigarettes. To ensure clarity for adult smokers, the FDA mandates the inclusion of the statement "Helps You Smoke Less" on every package of VLN, underscoring the product's distinct purpose.

Wrapping Up

The announcement by 22nd Century Group represents a significant step forward in the mission to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use and provide smokers with a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. The availability of VLN in drug stores across key states underscores the company's commitment to improving public health and promoting responsible tobacco consumption.

22nd Century Group, a pioneering biotechnology firm specializing in advanced plant technologies, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have plunged 81% in the past three months against the industry’s rise of 5.2%.

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