22nd Century Group to Focus on Lower-Nicotine Cigarettes
CLARENCE, N.Y. — A regulatory move toward lower-nicotine cigarettes has one company shifting its portfolio.
22nd Century Group Inc. plans to discontinue the U.S. sales of its Red Sun brand cigarettes as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shifts its tobacco regulation policy to focus on nicotine.
According to the company, over the last 6 years, government agencies have invested more than $100 million in independent clinical research with 22nd Century's proprietary Spectrum cigarettes. The results of numerous independent studies strongly support the conclusion that lowering nicotine levels in combustible tobacco cigarettes will drastically improve public health.
Because Red Sun cigarettes do not contain the company's proprietary Very Low Nicotine tobacco, 22nd Century believes that the continued marketing of the brand is inconsistent with the FDA's plan to drastically reduce nicotine in all combustible cigarettes that are sold in the United States.
"22nd Century stands ready to cooperate fully and enthusiastically with the FDA to drastically reduce nicotine content in cigarettes. In this spirit, we have decided to retire the Red Sun brand in the U.S.," explained Henry Sicignano, III, president and CEO of 22nd Century Group.
"On the other hand, for the vast majority of American smokers who wish to quit smoking — or to significantly reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke — it is clear that 22nd Century's Very Low Nicotine cigarettes will be a revolutionary product."
22nd Century's Very Low Nicotine cigarette brand styles contain as little as 0.4 mg nicotine per cigarette, a reduction of at least 95 percent less nicotine relative to leading cigarette brands in the U.S. market.
For international markets, the company is investing in the patents and the research necessary to create a reduced exposure cigarette with relatively higher levels of nicotine for smokers outside the United States.
Clarence-based 22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction and hemp/cannabis research.