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The U.S. government placed a big order for vaping devices.

Along with a string of public health researchers, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made inquiries to 22nd Century Group to receive about 3.6 million SPECTRUM Research Cigarettes, according to BusinessWire.

Based in Clarence, N.Y., 22nd Century Group is a biotechnology company specializing in developing very low nicotine (VLN) tobacco products. The company released a statement suggesting SPECTRUM has 95 percent lower nicotine levels than traditional cigarettes produced by many of the Big Tobacco companies.

SPECTRUM cigarettes could be recognized as the first FDA-sanctioned combustible cigarettes, falling into the modified risk tobacco product line, BusinessWire reported.

“22nd Century’s proprietary SPECTRUM research cigarettes have been, and continue to be, the linchpin of the scientific support for both the FDA’s efforts to dramatically reduce nicotine in cigarettes and for 22nd Century’s own MRTP application for VLN cigarettes,” 22nd Century Group President and Chief Executive Officer Henry Sicignano III said.

Sicignano added his company is out to alter the industry and rival the growing vaping community. The company is viewing licensing opportunities to enhance its international footprint, said the CEO.

“VLN SPECTRUM cigarettes are now widely recognized by public health advocates as the archetype of all cigarettes to come,” he said. “22nd Century’s offer to license our proprietary tobacco technology to all interested companies means VLN cigarettes may soon be available – worldwide – to smokers who wish to sever their addiction to cigarettes.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is pushing for an across-the-board nicotine reduction for combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes, pursuing near non-addictive nicotine levels.

Regardless of how low SPECTRUM’s nicotine levels are, it’s hard to imagine the FDA authorizing any company in the cigarette/vaping industry.

But if the company gets the much-coveted modified risk tobacco product label, look for the industry to undergo another major shift.

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