Nearly Three Out of Four Colorado Smokers Want to Quit and Now Have a New Option That “Helps You Smoke Less”  

VLN®, a cigarette with 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, is now available for the 75% of Colorado smokers that are willing to switch brands to help them cut back  

DENVER, Feb. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new survey of 500 Colorado adults who smoke assessed the state of cigarettes in Colorado and found 74 percent were interested in quitting, and 87 percent see cutting back as a pivotal step in that process. The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research for 22nd Century Group, Inc., which has launched a new product in Colorado that is now available for adults looking to smoke less.

Despite continually ranking as one of the healthiest states in the country, more than 12% of adults in Colorado still smoke and more than 5,000 people in the state continue to die each year from smoking highly addictive cigarettes, with higher incidence of smoking among rural and vulnerable communities.

Motivations to Quit and Past Attempts
When survey respondents were asked why they wanted to quit smoking, the most common responses were to save money (74 percent), improve their physical health (71 percent) and because family or friends asked them to stop (42 percent). However, quitting has proven to be a challenge for many Coloradans who smoke, with respondents who have tried at least once noting an average of five past quit attempts. The most common method used for trying to quit was going cold turkey (58 percent), followed closely by cutting back gradually (55 percent), nicotine patches (47 percent) and nicotine gum (42 percent).

Obstacles to Quitting  
So, why can’t many Coloradans give up cigarettes? Cravings for the experience of smoking was a top reason respondents with at least one quit attempt were triggered to start smoking again. Plus, the top three challenges that kept Coloradans from trying to quit — or being successful in their quit attempts — were: 

  • Inability to handle stress without smoking (57 percent) 
  • Constant cravings for nicotine (55 percent) 
  • Unable to break free from the habit and experience of smoking (46 percent) 

While quitting for good is clearly the best option for people’s health, this may not be within reach for many, based on findings from this survey. However, many Coloradans who smoke consider cutting back a step in the right direction. In fact, 87 percent of those surveyed said that significantly cutting back on how often they smoke would make them more confident in their ability to quit smoking completely.  

New Option in Colorado for Cutting Back  
For Coloradans looking to cut back but haven’t had success with other products, VLN® cigarettes — the first and only combustible tobacco cigarettes to receive a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) designation by the FDA, which contain minimal or non-addictive levels of nicotine — are now available statewide in Colorado. In fact, Colorado was one of the first states in the country to reduce taxes on MRTP products and the second Master Settlement Agreement state to approve listing VLN® for sale. 

“Our study found that the vast majority of survey participants said even just cutting back is considered a win and that’s exactly what our VLN® cigarettes are clinically proven to do,” said John Miller, president of 22nd Century Group’s Tobacco Business. “For the 75 percent of Coloradans who smoke who are willing to switch brands to help them cut back, VLN® cigarettes can be a new tool to help them smoke less, because VLN® provides the same familiar taste and experience as a regular cigarette.”  

While not a cessation product, VLN® King and VLN® Menthol King address many of the challenges respondents cited when trying to cut back or quit, including giving up the experience of smoking and inability to handle stress without smoking. VLN® tastes, smells and burns like a conventional cigarette, giving people the smoking experience they’re craving, but with 95 percent less of the addictive nicotine that keeps people hooked.

Why This Matters Now
With the FDA contemplating a nicotine cap and proposing rules to ban menthol as a flavoring agent for all combustible cigarettes sold in the United States as part of its Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation, VLN® is the only combustible cigarette on the market today that anticipates future tobacco policy developments in the United States and globally. Colorado is still the first — and only — state where VLN® cigarettes are available in multiple locations across the state, giving Coloradans who want to cut back a head start on smoking less.

Adult Coloradans who smoke can find VLN® cigarettes at all Circle K and Smoker Friendly stores throughout the state. People who smoke can also ask staff at any location alcoholic beverages are sold to stock VLN® . If you are 21 or older, learn more about VLN®’s revolutionary approach to reducing tobacco harm at and click on the ‘Store Locator’ to find the nearest location selling VLN® King and VLN® Menthol King.   

The Colorado Smoking Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 500 representative Colorado Smokers, ages 21+, between January 4th and January 16th, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data has been weighted to ensure an accurate representation of smokers in Colorado ages 21+. 

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 modified risk tobacco product (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, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on YouTube.

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 November 8, 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.

Media Contact:

Paul Raab
Linhart Public Relations

Investor Contact:
Matt Kreps
22nd Century Group, Inc.
Investor Relations

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