22nd Century Group plans to launch its VLN reduced-nicotine cigarettes in a major U.S. metropolitan market by March 2022. The debut will be followed by a nationwide launch.
On Dec. 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized 22nd Century Group’s VLN King and VLN Menthol King as the first reduced-nicotine content cigarettes under the agency’s modified-risk tobacco product designation. Scientific studies show the company’s VLN reduced-nicotine content cigarettes “help you smoke less.”
“The FDA’s MRTP authorization of VLN ushered in a new reality—a combustible cigarette carrying an authorized harm reduction claim supported by extensive scientific and clinical studies, most of which were funded by federal health agencies,” said James A. Mish, CEO of 22nd Century, in a statement.
“VLN is the only reduced harm product of its kind, and we are confident based on the research that it can absolutely be successful on its own or in combination with other harm reduction products. With an estimated 1,300 deaths per day associated with U.S. smoking, our products that can help people smoke less offer a truly game-changing prospect for millions of American adults who currently smoke.”
During the pilot phase, 22nd Century Group will test and optimize its marketing mix. The pilot will help the company better understand how adult smokers will use this product prior to advancing to national distribution, providing an unmatched tool for helping adult smokers find an off-ramp from nicotine addiction.
“22nd Century has secured a well-known national retail partner for VLN’s pilot market launch phase,” said Mish. “We intend to deploy and test a wide array of marketing materials aimed at adult smokers looking for ways to help them smoke less. These will include marketing at the point of sale, direct materials sent to self-identified adult smokers interested in VLN and online resources, such as our new product site at tryvln.com.”
While 22nd Century owns or controls the intellectual property that makes VLN tobacco possible, the company has reiterated its willingness and expectation to license the technology to strategic partners.