22nd Century Group (XXII) Announces Production of VLN® Homogenized Tobacco Leaf Sheet

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HTL Is Commonly Used in Heat-Not-Burn and Cigar Binder and Wrapper Applications

Provides VLN® Tobacco Solution in Large Adjacent Markets

BUFFALO, N.Y., June 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), a leading biotechnology company dedicated to improving health with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops advanced plant technologies, today announced it has successfully produced homogenized tobacco leaf (HTL) sheet using VLN® reduced nicotine content tobacco, demonstrating a reduced nicotine content pathway for additional large markets such as heat-not-burn products and as the binder or wrapper for machine-made cigars.

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“It’s time for the industry to offer adult smokers a true alternative to highly addictive nicotine products in every format. HTL is critical to the fast-growing heat-not-burn product category, where a VLN® 95% reduced nicotine content HTL would be a compelling alternative to the nicotine-laden tobaccos commonly used in these products. HTL is also commonly used as the binder and wrapper in the high-volume cigar market due to its greater mechanical resistance and uniformity as compared to whole tobacco leaves,” stated John Miller, president of tobacco products for 22nd Century Group.

The global heat-not-burn market is estimated to exceed $24 billion by 2027 according to Research and Markets estimates. The global cigar market is expected to reach $114 billion by 2030, according to Straits Research, with the bulk being machine made products using HTL.

“Conventional tobacco products still seek to create and sustain nicotine addiction to generate sales. Even alternatives to conventional smoking products, such as vaping and e-cigarettes, perpetuate sales through nicotine addiction rather than giving consumers a real choice. 22nd Century wants to provide a true alternative that allows users to take control of their consumption habit once and for all by breaking the chains of nicotine addiction,” said James A. Mish, chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group.  

VLN® HTL sheet product could be manufactured and sold as a raw material input or produced under license for companies interested in offering reduced nicotine content and non-addictive products, providing an off-ramp for adult smokers seeking to take control of their smoking habit and nicotine consumption.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading biotechnology company focused on utilizing advanced alkaloid plant technologies to improve health and wellness through tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. The Company received the first and only FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) authorization for a combustible cigarette in December 2021. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the life science and consumer products industries by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.

Learn more at xxiicentury.com, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on YouTube.

Learn more about VLN® at tryvln.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “consider,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “explore,” “foresee,” “goal,” “guidance,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “preliminary,” “probable,” “project,” “promising,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 9, 2023. All information provided in this release is as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Investor Relations & Media Contact
Matt Kreps
Investor Relations
22nd Century Group
[email protected]
214-597-8200

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