22nd Century’s Receives USDA Phytosanitary Certificate to Export Proprietary Tobacco Seeds

Central American growing program may enable the Company to bring reduced exposure tobacco products to price-conscious smokers around the world.

CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a leader in tobacco harm reduction, announced today that the Company is exporting multiple varieties of its proprietary tobacco seeds to Central America for testing and possible expanded agricultural production. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a phytosanitary certificate to 22nd Century to facilitate export of the Company’s proprietary Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) seeds to growers in Central America.

22nd Century remains committed to utilizing US-grown tobacco for cigarettes manufactured for sale in the United States and other countries. However, in order to satisfy demand for its proprietary tobacco in parts of the world unable to afford premium-priced leaf, 22nd Century is conducting field trials with select growers in Central America.

The first crops grown from the Company’s proprietary tobacco varieties in Central America will come due for harvest in early 2016. 22nd Century anticipates that the field trials will produce tobacco that compares favorably with the Company’s previous contract-grown crops. With growing seasons all year long, plentiful rainfall, and tens of thousands of acres of suitable farmland, Central American farms have the potential to produce large quantities of quality tobacco leaf for 22nd Century – at extremely attractive prices.

“Some of the world’s largest cigarette markets are highly price sensitive,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and CEO of 22nd Century. “Our Central American growing program may enable 22nd Century to provide price-conscious smokers in many parts of the world with incredibly important products that no other company can provide, including Very Low Nicotine tobacco cigarettes – with 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes – as recently described in The New England Journal of Medicine.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology that allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. 22nd Century currently owns or exclusively controls more than 185 issued patents and more than 50 pending patent applications around the world. 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.

Investor Relations for 22nd Century Group, Inc.:
Andrew Haag, 866-976-4784
Redington, Inc.
Tom Redington, 203-222-7399

Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.