According to James A. Mish, CEO of 22nd Century Group, "Studies show that at least half of all adult smokers try to quit each year, and VLN cigarettes give them an alternative that tastes, smells and burns like a cigarette but greatly reduces their nicotine consumption."
Michael Zercher, president and chief operating officer of 22nd Century Group, said the company is focused on harm reduction and plant technology/science and not affiliated with "big tobacco" companies.
"More than 30 million Americans still smoke despite decades-long attempts to migrate smokers to other forms of nicotine delivery, taxing cigarettes, banning public smoking, and numerous education campaigns about the dangers of smoking," Zercher said. "22nd Century Group is the only company approaching the problem by removing the addictive element from combustible cigarettes, an approach the FDA projects could save 8 million lives by the end of the decade if the nicotine levels of all cigarettes were to be reduced to the levels achieved by VLN."
In addition to "Helps you smoke less," the FDA authorized VLN to make the following claims:
- " 95 percent less nicotine."
- "Helps reduce your nicotine consumption.
- "…Greatly reduces your nicotine consumption."
In 2017, the FDA announced a comprehensive plan to limit the level of nicotine in all cigarettes, rendering them minimally addictive or nonaddictive. To be clear, no cigarette is safer even if it contains much less nicotine. VLN must still include Surgeon General's warnings and FDA-authorized language on its packaging and marketing materials.
"We applaud the FDA on this plan and fully support all cigarettes containing only minimally or non-addictive levels of nicotine," said Dr. Butt of the Chicago Medical Society.