Bad news for competing tobacco companies like Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), this morning 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE:XXII), announced that Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health’s 5th Annual Conference on Tobacco Regulatory Science, revealed positive results from a "ground-breaking phase III study that was conducted in 10 cities across the United States and included participants from all demographics."
The study was conducted by Dr. Hatsukami, who is the Co-Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Nicotine in Cigarettes and Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Tobacco Research Programs at the University of Minnesota. Spanning over 20 weeks with 1,250 patients, the study compared smokers who were assigned to three categories:
an immediate reduction to Very Low Nicotine cigarettes
gradual reduction in reduced nicotine content cigarettes
normal nicotine content cigarettes
These incredibly exciting Phase III results were announced just weeks after the FDA announced their plans to mandate lower nicotine in cigarettes, in all combustible cigarettes sold throughout the U.S. The implementation of VLN (very low nicotine tobacco) in cigarettes could save an insurmountable number of lives.
With the announcement coming out before this morning's North American market open, shares of 22nd Century soared all the way up to $3.85 pre-market on above average volume.
Recently, 22nd Century announced that they had been freed from their restrictive licensing agreement with British American Tobacco Plc (NYSE:BTI), now leaving them open to license their very low nicotine technology to whoever they like. Whether XXII's patent portfolio is licensed to Altria Group Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. or whichever fat-walleted suitor can afford it, it will be worth it.
Only time will tell how the market responds throughout the rest of the trading day. To get all of our 22nd Century Updates, make sure to sign up to our XXII updates list here. Be sure to subscribe to one or more of our free e-mail newsletters so you never miss an important update. Also, don't forget to connect with The Daily Marijuana Observer on social media via Facebook, Twitter, StockTwits, and Instagram.