22nd Century Group Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:XXII) has announced that the company shipped a total of 2.4 million SPECTRUM® research cigarettes for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 22nd Century Group Inc mainly deals in plant biotechnology and focused on reduction of tobacco harm and cannabis research.
Contracted as a subcontractor under federal government contracts, the company has supplied the NIDA with its proprietary SPECTRUM® research cigarettes since 2011. The product line is made up of a series of 24 cigarette styles that have 8 different levels of nicotine ranging from very low to high.
The FDA together with other agencies of the U.S. government have invested over $100 million in several independent medical studies which have shown the health benefits of the company’s proprietary tobacco cigarettes. As a result of the research, researchers have found that the VLNC cigarettes reduce consumption of cigarettes, reduce cravings, and increase quit attempts.
A study was completed recently with 22nd Century’s research cigarettes. The Phase III study featured 1,250 people at 10 study locations. These included the Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Vermont, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California – San Francisco among others. The study mainly compared two different ways to help smokers reduce their addiction to nicotine; the immediate reduction in the content of nicotine in cigarettes up to non-addictive levels and gradual reduction in the content of nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.
Although the results from the study are still under review before being published, Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami a principal investigator in the trial has publicly indicated that an immediate reduction in consumption of nicotine is “most likely to lead to less harm.” This revelation came barely weeks after the FDA said that the Agency is exercising its authority to mandate lower nicotine – at minimally or non-addictive levels combustible cigarettes used in the United States.
In a statement, 22nd Century Group President and Chief Executive Officer Henry Sicignano said the company’s cigarettes have helped in several studies which has shown the benefits of minimally or non-addictive cigarettes.