(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado is the first state to launch cigarettes that have minimal to non-addictive levels of nicotine and are clinically proven to help smokers cut back.

VLN cigarettes from 22nd Century Group Inc. are the first and only combustible tobacco cigarettes to receive a Modified Risk Tobacco Product designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They contain 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, greatly reducing nicotine consumption to help smokers smoke less, according to 22nd Century Group.

“There’s a revolutionary new option available for the more than 680,000 adult smokers in Colorado — many of whom are trying to cut back or quit,” said the company in a press release.

VLN cigarettes are now available at all Smoker Friendly locations in the state via a partnership with Creager Mercantile and will be carried by Circle K stores starting next week. They will roll out to retail locations throughout Colorado through a partnership with Eagle Rock Distributing Company, a wholesale partner of Anheuser-Busch. The cigarettes will be competitively priced with other major brands at $9 to $9.25 a pack, depending on tax.

22nd Century Group Inc. is a leading agricultural biotechnology company that has developed VLN brand cigarettes using proprietary modern tobacco breeding techniques. VLN cigarettes have been the focus of research from more than 50 government-funded, independent clinical trials for more than 12 years, per the company. These trials received grants from leading U.S. institutions and federal organizations including the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted at Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic and others.

The findings from the clinical trials reported that adult smokers who switch to greatly-reduced nicotine cigarettes:

  • Reduce their cigarettes per day (CDP) by 50 percent after 20 weeks.
  • Have more smoke-free days and quit attempts as a group.
  • Experience a reduction in cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Despite continually ranking as one of the healthiest states in the country, more than 12 percent of adult Coloradans smoke and more than 5,000 people in the state die each year from smoking highly addictive cigarettes, stated 22 Century Group.

“According to the CDC, almost half of the Colorado adult smoking population tried to quit in 2019; our VLN®King and VLN®Menthol King cigarettes are proven to help adults smoke less,”said John Miller, President of 22nd Century Group’s Tobacco Business. “Reducing cigarette consumption is important, though challenging, and we are hopeful many smokers will transition away from smoking cigarettes entirely.”