Growers Produce Genetically Modified Low Nicotine Tobacco


A new type of cigarette may soon be available. 22nd Century Group, in an effort to help smokers quit, is developing a nearly nicotine free tobacco.

While the debate of the safety of GMOs looms in the background, Joseph Pandolfino, who is CEO and founder of the company, is using the technology for what he hopes to be an effective method of helping quitters kick the habit for good. “These look and taste just like conventional cigarettes,” he said. “The only difference is they have 95 percent less nicotine.”

The specially made cigarettes would be given on a prescription only basis for a period of only two weeks. The president of the company, Henry Sicignano III, said, “They’re certainly not safe. You’re still inhaling smoke and all the toxins.” Still, the initial trials have been promising. In Phase II trials 43 percent of quitters went 4 weeks without smoking, and six weeks after the trial those quitters still weren’t smoking. These results were better than other quitting aids such as the patch or lozenges.

Photo: Lưu Ly, Wikimedia. No endorsement implied. Certain rights reserved. License information available at


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