22nd Century Group (XXII) Announces U.S. Distribution Partnerships with Core-Mark and Eby-Brown

Two of the Largest U.S. Convenience Store Distributors Will Support VLN® Rollout into New States and Regions

Expects Multiple Retail Chain Customers of Core-Mark and Eby-Brown to Carry 22nd Century's VLN® Cigarettes

Buffalo, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - January 18, 2023) - 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), the world's leading biotechnology company dedicated to improving health with reduced nicotine tobacco and advanced plant technologies in both hemp/cannabis and hops, today announced new distribution partnerships with Core-Mark International and Eby-Brown Company, two of the largest convenience store (C-store) distributors in the United States.

22nd Century's VLN® products are now available for purchase by eligible Core-Mark and Eby-Brown customers as a part of 22nd Century Group's state and regional rollout program.

"22nd Century's new partnership agreements with two of the largest, most respected convenience store distributors in the United States make possible the launch of VLN® cigarettes in virtually every key U.S. market we are targeting in our state-by-state, region-by-region roll-out strategy," stated John Miller, president of tobacco products for 22nd Century Group. "We are proactively working with highly recognized retail chains that want to add VLN® to their cigarette sets, many of which are already customers of Core-Mark and/or Eby-Brown, thus streamlining the rollout process."

These new partnerships provide nationwide distribution capabilities for VLN® via 31 Core-Mark and Eby-Brown warehouses. Additionally, 22nd Century will attend 11 regional trade shows sponsored by the distributors in 2023 providing 22nd Century with the opportunity to introduce VLN® to thousands of Core-Mark and Eby-Brown's independent retail and chain store operators.

"Approximately 70% of the estimated 39 million adult U.S. smokers want to stop smoking, though only a tiny fraction are able to quit each year," explained James A. Mish, chief executive officer of 22nd Century Group. "22nd Century's proprietary reduced nicotine tobacco technology has enabled us to develop a truly revolutionary VLN® product designed to help smokers, smoke less. The C-store channel is the largest point of purchase for cigarette products, and we look forward to partnering with Core-Mark, Eby-Brown and other distributor partners to continue placing our reduced nicotine content cigarettes in a growing number of stores. Doing so will give adults a much-needed tool to help them smoke less and mitigate the harms associated with smoking. It is simply the right thing to do."

About Core-Mark
Core-Mark is one of the largest providers of fresh food and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. Core-Mark offers a full range of products, marketing programs, and technology solutions in the U.S. and Canada, servicing traditional convenience stores, grocers, drug stores, mass merchants, liquor and specialty stores, and other stores that carry convenience products.

About Eby-Brown
Eby-Brown Company is one of the largest foodservice and wholesaler consumer products distributors in the convenience industry, known for driving efficiencies and profitability through its industry-leading food service, technology, and a variety of product and program solutions.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is the world's leading biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco and improving health and wellness through plant science. 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.

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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 1, 2022, and in the Company's Quarterly Report filed on November 8, 2022. 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
Darrow Associates Investor Relations
Matt Kreps
mkreps@darrowir.com

214-597-8200

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SOURCE 22nd Century Group