22nd Century Group has accelerated a major seed cultivation project for its proprietary reduced nicotine content tobaccos to support local authorities as they work to implement New Zealand’s new reduced nicotine content law starting from this year. The seed will be used to rapidly scale the availability of 22nd Century’s reduced nicotine content tobacco leaf to manufacture cigarettes compliant with New Zealand’s new reduced nicotine content law.
“New Zealand’s groundbreaking new law will require a sizeable expansion of reduced nicotine content tobacco leaf production to address market needs,” said John Miller, president of tobacco products for 22nd Century Group, in a statement.
“22nd Century’s ultra-low nicotine content tobaccos are the only commercial scale naturally grown tobacco varieties ready to meet the New Zealand law today. We are moving immediately to ensure sufficient leaf capacity of our reduced nicotine content tobacco to serve the entire New Zealand market as the new law is implemented.”
22nd Century’s proprietary reduced nicotine content tobacco varieties grow with 95 percent less nicotine than the commercial tobaccos used in making cigarettes for the New Zealand market. Significantly, 22nd Century’s non-GMO tobacco varieties are already compliant with the New Zealand law, which requires all combustible cigarettes to contain less than 0.8 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco, inclusive of testing variance.
22nd Century’s expanded growing program, centered in the heart of the U.S. tobacco belt, will produce additional seed sufficient for approximately 2 billion sticks, the entire annual New Zealand cigarette market volume.
“New Zealand has taken the global lead in tobacco control through its new law, which will reduce the harms of smoking and improve public health and health equity, particularly among minority communities that are disproportionately burdened with the health and economic harms of smoking,” said John D. Pritchard, vice president of regulatory science at 22nd Century.
“As we increase quantities of our reduced nicotine tobacco seed, 22nd Century is demonstrating conclusively that the tobacco supply chain will pivot quickly to support the ramp up of the national-scale public health program,” Miller added.