A new kind of cigarette launched a pilot program to sell its products exclusively in the Chicago area this week.
New York-based 22nd Century Group is marketing its new line of cigarettes — VLN King and VLN Methanol King — as products that can help smokers cut back.
The cigarettes are the first combustible tobacco cigarettes to gain authorization from the Food and Drug Administration as products that reduce smokers’ exposure to nicotine.
Though the FDA does not approve cigarettes, it regulates the manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling, advertising, promoting, selling and distributing of tobacco products.
The FDA authorized that marketing material for the new cigarettes can include the phrase “helps you smoke less,” along with “helps reduce your nicotine consumption.” According to the company, the cigarettes contain 95% less nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
The cigarette packaging still will include Surgeon General’s warnings about how smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and may complicate pregnancy.
The products are available for $9-12 in Circle K stores throughout the area. After the three-to-six-month pilot, the company plans to expand its sales nationwide to more than 7,000 stores in 48 states.