22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII)
announced today that NASCO Products, LLC, a federally licensed tobacco
product manufacturer and participating member of the tobacco Master
Settlement Agreement (MSA), entered into a multi-year manufacturing
agreement with Smoker Friendly International to produce the Smoker
Friendly private label cigarette brand.
Smoker Friendly International, LLC licenses retailers to use its "Smoker
Friendly" name and sell its "SF" products. Currently, Smoker Friendly
has approximately 800 stores throughout the United States under license.
These stores are independently owned and operated. The SF brand has been
on the market for over 20 years and is the private label brand in Smoker
Friendly stores. Starting in January 2015, the SF brand of cigarettes
will be made by NASCO Products in the Mocksville, North Carolina
factory, which 22nd Century Group purchased earlier in 2014.
Barry Saintsing, Plant Manager and former Master Product Developer at RJ
Reynolds Tobacco Company, stated "The factory is in tip-top shape and
ready to begin work on the important Smoker Friendly contract." In fact,
after a few months of refurbishing and optimizing the machinery - mainly
by ex-RJR mechanics and operators - the factory commenced producing and
selling various brands of commercial filtered cigars in June 2014. Mr.
Saintsing added, "In addition to the products the factory is already
manufacturing, we are in discussions with a half dozen other parties to
contract manufacture additional brands, including some brands for
As previously reported by the Company, upon all the settling states of
the MSA executing NASCO Product's amended Adherence Agreement to the
MSA, 22nd Century's acquisition of NASCO will immediately become
effective, and 2nd Century's super-premium brands will be produced by
NASCO Products. At which time, NASCO Products will become a wholly-owned
subsidiary of 22nd Century Group. 22nd Century's management expects this
to occur imminently.
In anticipation of MSA authorization, last week 22nd Century made a
presentation at the Smoker Friendly Tobacco Festival and Conference in
Boulder Colorado to announce the new Smoker Friendly manufacturing
agreement and to introduce RED SUN® to Smoker Friendly
retailers. Henry Sicignano III, 22nd Century Group's President reported,
"Smoker Friendly retailers were delighted with our RED SUN brand."
Embracing the extraordinary tasting cigarette that smokers describe as
"The Best Cigarette Ever Made," retailers believe RED SUN will strike a
chord with well-heeled smokers who seek a super-premium brand that, in
fact, is a relevant and differentiated brand to consumers, as compared
to the best-selling commercial brands. Mr. Sicignano added, "Based on
the feedback we received at the conference, we expect hundreds of Smoker
Friendly stores to carry RED SUN upon the brand becoming an MSA brand."
For additional information, please visit: www.xxiicentury.com
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary
technology allows for the levels of nicotine and other nicotinic
alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco
plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and plant
breeding. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 129 issued
patents in 78 countries plus an additional 44 pending patent
applications. Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC and Hercules
Pharmaceuticals, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of 22nd Century.
Goodrich Tobacco is focused on commercial tobacco products and potential
less harmful cigarettes. Hercules Pharmaceuticals is focused on X-22,
a prescription smoking cessation aid in development.
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. 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,
2013, filed on January 30, 2014, 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
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