22nd Century’s Central American Growing Program to Yield Large Quantities of Proprietary Seed Stock to Support Very Low Nicotine Cigarette Product Launches

Initiative will produce seed sufficient to grow tens of thousands of acres of Very Low Nicotine tobacco

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 its Central American growing program is a great success. Now nearing harvest, the specially-propagated Central American tobacco crop is expected to produce sufficient quantities of Very Low Nicotine tobacco seed stock to support 22nd Century’s increasing distribution of Very Low Nicotine (“VLN”) tobacco cigarettes in Europe, as well as the anticipated future distribution of VLN tobacco cigarettes in the United States, and the potential sales of VLN tobacco leaf in Asia.

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Central American field shown with juvenile 22nd Century Very Low Nicotine tobacco plants (Photo: Bus ...

Central American field shown with juvenile 22nd Century Very Low Nicotine tobacco plants (Photo: Business Wire)

As reported in October 2015, 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 select growers in Central America. As a result of the Company’s successful field trials, the proprietary Very Low Nicotine tobacco seed in production will allow 22nd Century to greatly expand its tobacco leaf growing programs in both the United States and in Central America. The tobacco plants in Central America are expected to produce seed sufficient to grow tens of thousands of acres of Very Low Nicotine tobacco.

“The positive results of our Central American tobacco seed production program could not have come at a better time,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of 22nd Century Group. “Now 22nd Century will have sufficient stockpiles of VLN seeds to support increased distribution of the Company’s MAGIC “O” cigarettes as well as launches of our other proprietary Very Low Nicotine products around the world.”

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. 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 and www.magiccigarettes.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, 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, 2014, filed on February 5, 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:
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Andrew Haag, 866-976-4784
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Tom Redington, 203-222-7399

Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.