WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE American: XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a leader in tobacco harm reduction and Very Low Nicotine tobacco, announced that on May 1, 2018, a federal court ordered Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA to issue statements to correct marketing that deliberately deceived the public about the addictiveness and health risks of smoking. This most recent federal action requires the defendants to issue no fewer than 18 corrective statements by June 18, 2018, on their websites and on cigarette pack inserts.
The federal court ruling makes certain that the public will be made aware of the harm caused by smoking. Some of the corrective statements that the defendants will be required to post include:
“Smoking is highly addictive. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco.”
“Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction.”
“It’s not easy to quit.”
“Many smokers switch to low tar and light cigarettes rather than quitting because they think low tar and light cigarettes are less harmful. They are not.”
“Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.”
In contrast to the highly addictive tobacco cigarettes marketed by Big Tobacco companies, 22nd Century’s Very Low Nicotine (VLN TM) proprietary tobacco and technology make possible tobacco cigarettes with a nicotine content of just 0.4mg/g, which is more than 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes (conventional cigarettes contain 20 mg/g on average). The World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation, the ANPRM published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and highly respected scientists across the United States have all pointed to tobacco with a nicotine content at or about 0.4mg/g as being “minimally or non-addictive.”
Decades of deceptive statements by Big Tobacco companies have led many American smokers to believe that so-called “light” or “smooth” cigarettes contain less nicotine or were less addictive, which is simply not true. National tobacco brands that advertised “low nicotine,” “light,” “ultra-light” or “smooth” styles in the past were referring to the smoking machine-measured nicotine yield of cigarettes. The FDA, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the public health community at large have determined that the yield method of nicotine measurement is wholly unreliable and gives no indication of actual nicotine intake because smokers engage in “compensatory behavior” by smoking more cigarettes when using low nicotine yield cigarettes and do not actually achieve reduced nicotine intake. For precisely this reason, the FDA banned the terms “light,” “ultra-light,” “low tar” and other terms from being used with respect to combustible cigarettes so that tobacco companies could no longer mislead consumers.
“22nd Century’s Very Low Nicotine tobacco smokes and tastes like conventional tobacco, but contains just a fraction of the nicotine,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group. “Big Tobacco has spent the last 50 years taking advantage of the highly addictive nature of cigarette smoking. In stark contrast, 22nd Century’s proprietary Very Low Nicotine tobacco could render all cigarettes sold in the United States only minimally or non-addictive.”
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in hemp/cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in hemp/cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, filed on March 7, 2018, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.