22nd Century Group (Nasdaq: XXII) Expands VLN® Distributor Network with the Addition of Specialty Distributor Creager Mercantile

  • Partnership Expands the Availability of VLN® Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes to Specialty Point of Sale Retail Sites across Colorado

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), a leading agricultural biotechnology company dedicated to improving health with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis, and hops advanced plant technologies, today announced that the Company has added Creager Mercantile as a distribution partner to expand availability and support for its VLN® reduced nicotine content cigarette products in the state of Colorado.

Operating since 1958, Creager is a well-known wholesale supplier for a wide array of cigarette retailers including hospital gift shops, gas stations, and tobacco shops across the state. The company supports more than 1,000 stores across numerous specialty and retail store brands. Combined with 22nd Century’s previously announced partnership with Eagle Rock Distributing Company, the Company now has access to thousands of potential retail sites across the state that could be serviced by its VLN® distribution partners.

22nd Century Group’s proprietary VLN® cigarettes smoke, smell, and taste like a cigarette but contain approximately 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, a level shown to be non-addictive. As noted on the packaging, VLN® is the only cigarette in the world purposefully designed to “Help You Smoke Less.”

“We are excited to work with 22nd Century Group to make VLN® available to adult smokers in Colorado who are looking for a new way to cut their ties to nicotine,” said Chip Creager, President of Creager Mercantile. “Creager supports a diverse array of specialty stores, often advising retailers on the best new products to add to their shelves. We believe that VLN®’s uniqueness as the first and only cigarette designed specifically to help smokers smoke less makes it an important and attractive product for adult smokers, and we will be actively working with our retail partners to launch VLN® to their stores in the coming months.”

“Creager opens up an entire additional channel of specialty retail and tobacco suppliers across the state of Colorado, and its direct role in product recommendations and store support make it an ideal partner for 22nd Century’s VLN® rollout,” said John J. Miller, president of 22nd Century’s Tobacco Business. “We look forward to working directly with Creager to place VLN® on as many shelves as possible, making our important new product broadly available in as many locations as possible where traditional combustible cigarettes are sold.”

More information about Creager can be found online at https://creagermerc.com/.

22nd Century Group’s decision to launch in Colorado follows the exceptional pilot results in Chicago and the Company’s plans to have distribution and retail partnerships in place to support the expanding availability of VLN® to adult smokers across the country. The Chicago pilot demonstrated that in-store outreach was highly effective, and once adult smokers had tried VLN®, the vast majority were quick to recommend VLN® to other adult smokers. Specialty distribution such as Creager, which supports additional functions such as merchandising and product advice, expands the awareness of VLN®’s highly differentiated value proposition in key retail channels.

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading agricultural 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 MRTP authorization of 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.

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 August 9, 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
Mei Kuo
22nd Century Group, Inc.
Director, Communications & Investor Relations

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Matt Kreps
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