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Interview with 22nd Century CEO Highlights Catalysts for 2016

Earlier this week, I had a chance to speak with Henry Sicignano III, President & CEO of 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSEMKT: XXII). I wanted to get an update from the company on a key issue I believe may be holding back the shares, specifically the rollout and ramp-up of the company's MAGIC very low nicotine brand cigarettes in Europe. The success of MAGIC in Europe should serve as a proxy for the market opportunity with BRAND A in the U.S. BRAND A is a similar very low nicotine product currently under U.S. FDA review as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP). While MAGIC does not have this "modified risk" claim in Europe, it still provides logistical experience to management and much-needed user feedback on the product ahead of the planned U.S. rollout for BRAND A.

I believe BRAND A will be the first tobacco cigarette approved in the U.S. with a modified risk claim later this year. Approximately 265 billion cigarettes were sold in the U.S. during 2015 (U.S. CDC). That equates to a retail market of roughly $75 billion. The U.S. CDC estimates that 70% of smokers attempt to quit each year, and according to research done by JP Morgan, 90% of smokers would be willing to try a new brand of cigarette if it were “safer” than their usual brand. I think BRAND A can be a tremendous product for 22nd Century Group, so let's get right into our conversation with Mr. Sicignano below!

Please read the interview here >> LINK (opens new tab).