22nd Century Group Signs Contract with Rich & Rhine

More Than 200 New Retail Accounts to Stock RED SUN Premium Cigarettes

CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a leader in tobacco harm reduction, announced today that Rich & Rhine Inc., an important tobacco products distributor based in Portland, Oregon, has agreed to stock and promote RED SUN cigarettes. Starting June 1, 2015, Rich & Rhine will effectively double RED SUN’s retail base by placing RED SUN in more than 200 of its top independently-owned retail accounts.

“Rich & Rhine is a great company with top notch sales representatives. During my tenure at Santa Fe Natural, I witnessed, first hand, the tremendous success of Rich & Rhine in growing super-premium cigarette sales in the northwest part of the United States,” explained Henry Sicignano III, President and Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group. “We are very pleased to count Rich & Rhine as a RED SUN customer and strategic partner.”

To maximize the impact of the RED SUN roll-out across Portland and Seattle, Rich & Rhine is targeting retail stores that enjoy the highest percentage of premium cigarette sales – a customer base that closely matches the RED SUN target market.

“Rich & Rhine has a great deal of experience with premium, all-natural cigarettes like the American Spirit brand,” said Ron Squires, Sales Manager for Rich & Rhine Distributors. “RED SUN is a rich, flavorful cigarette. Not unlike the early days of American Spirit, RED SUN looks to have tremendous appeal with progressive Portland and Seattle smokers. We are very excited to partner with 22nd Century to bring such a novel product to our independent-minded customer base.”

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s mission is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. 22nd Century owns or exclusively controls 128 issued patents and 52 pending patent applications in 96 countries. The Company’s strong IP position led to a licensing agreement with British American Tobacco (“BAT”), the world’s second largest tobacco company. Visit www.xxiicentury.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. 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 year ended December 31, 2014, filed on February 6, 2015, 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.

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Tom Redington, 203-222-7399

Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.