Wednesday 13 September 2023

Well, that's the end of very low nicotine cigarettes

The company that was supposed to prove that cigarettes with hardly any nicotine in them are commercially viable has fallen on hard times. I discuss it in The Critic.

Beneath the corporate jargon is an admission that the company’s ultra-low nicotine cigarettes are not selling as well as expected. Some analysts think it is a prelude to a federal bankruptcy filing. The company’s share price peaked at $77 in 2021 and is currently trading at $1.25.

It is not long since XXII was a darling of public health groups and the media. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did everything it could to help the company. It banned the vast majority of e-cigarettes and threatened to introduce nicotine limits in cigarettes that only XXII could comply with. It officially classified two of XXII’s very low nicotine cigarette brands — VLN King and VLN Menthol King — as “modified risk tobacco products”, thereby giving the company the unique privilege of being able to market their cigarettes with health claims. The FDA also bought 28 million of their cigarettes to use in research.

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