22nd Century to Call for National Tobacco Harm Reduction Policy at Tobacco Merchants’ Association National Conference

CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT: XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a leader in tobacco harm reduction, announced today that on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Henry Sicignano, III, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will participate in a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Nicotine” at the 101st Annual Meeting of the Tobacco Merchants’ Association in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Joined by Jacques Coffeng, Vice President of Japan Tobacco International, and David Graham, Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs of NJOY Inc., Mr. Sicignano will advocate for a pragmatic approach to reducing the harm caused by smoking. Specifically, he will discuss the public health benefits of (i) Very Low Nicotine non-addictive combustible cigarettes, and (ii) high nicotine cigarettes that result in users inhaling less smoke to obtain their desired level of nicotine and thereby reducing the harm caused by smoking as shown in the preliminary results of a clinical study recently sponsored by the FDA.

Employing the Company’s proprietary technology that controls the genes in the tobacco plant responsible for nicotine production, 22nd Century is the only company in the world capable of growing tobacco with a nicotine content that is either the world’s lowest level of nicotine (approximately 95% less nicotine than conventional tobacco plants) or the world’s highest level of nicotine (approximately 2x to 3x more nicotine than conventional tobacco plants).

Though the high nicotine strategy will require consumer exposure studies, public health officials around the world have begun to embrace the simplicity and efficacy of Very Low Nicotine cigarettes. Dr. David Kessler, former FDA commissioner has stated, “The FDA should quickly move to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. If we reduce the level of the stimulus, we reduce the craving. It is the ultimate harm reduction strategy.” Mr. Sicignano will echo this forward-thinking proposal with a strategy that will make possible a national nicotine reduction policy.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which 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 200 issued patents and more than 50 pending patent applications around the world. Visit www.xxiicentury.com, for more information.

About Tobacco Merchants’ Association (TMA)

Founded in 1915, the Tobacco Merchants’ Association is a trade association dedicated to serving as the leading provider of accurate, comprehensive, and objective information on the global tobacco and e-vapor industries for all of TMA's users, delivered in a timely, innovative and cost-effective manner as well as a provider of forums for education and dialogue on issues of interest and concern to public health, government, and industries. For more information, visit: www.tma.org

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, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. 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 fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, filed on February 18, 2016, 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:
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Andrew Haag, 866-976-4784
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Tom Redington, 203-222-7399

Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.