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Phillip Morris Marlboro / stale cigarettes

Moberly, MO, United States Review updated:

Marlboro still uses julian date code system on their cigarette packs. The code printed on bottom of pack should have a letter, then a 3 digit julian date, followed by a letter, then a number which is the last number of the year manufactured. This should be "0" for cigarettes produced in 2010. If it is "9" you are buying cigarettes from last year, likely stale unless vacuum sealed in freezer storage, which is unlikely.
Local retailers are presently selling marlboro "red" soft packs with julian dates of 282 from last year, produced 7 months ago. After inquiring i found they also have more recent julian dates from a couple of months back. I refuse to pay full price for cigarettes produced last year, and offer this info so others do the same to avoid a stale product.
Years ago i was told, by a marlboro quality department employee, that the "average shelf - life" for cigarettes is 3 months, depending on storage conditions. At that time their company would admit selling an old, inferior product, and replace them freely. This is no longer the case.
Now their employees are trained to deny this and claim staleness of cigarettes is "objective", while the whole time avoiding the issue, which is that their product is being sold at full retail price despite the fact that it is far outdated, and so stale (From an objective point of view.)
Check the date code on the bottom of your marlboro cigarettes before buying, and if the julian date is in the 2 or 300's, with a "9" following the letter "y" or "z", do not buy unless your wish to pay full retail for stale cigarettes.

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  • Du
      4th of Jun, 2010

    There are to date, marlboro "red" soft packs being retailed in mid - mo. , with a julian date of 309 from last year - that is nov. 4th.
    That means these cigarettes, being retailed at full price, are exactly seven months old.
    That is four months past the "average" shelf life, referencing information provided to me, years ago by a marlboro quality employee.
    Acceptable? You be the judge.
    Check the date on bottom of your cigarette purchases and lets send these stale cigarettes back to phillip morris before they start retailing year old stale product!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Th
      2nd of Jan, 2011

    The store owners are not aware of the staleness. They keep selling them as more people don't even bother if its stale or not. At least Marlboro has some coding system to show the shipping/manufacture date. While there are so many other brands that has nothing of any sorts to show that date. while this is a problem on its own, if you have no other choice than to choose the old cigarettes with no date, the store owners would prove to you getting a new cartoon/package and claiming it to be fresh. Chances are they would be stale 99% of the time, you are forced to keep smoking the stale one, trying pack after pack in hopes of seeing a fresh one slip in. Cigarettes should be well stored and kept at right temperature right away even if its just delivered and the companies should do something about this!

    -1 Votes
  • Ci
      5th of Jan, 2011

    I work closely with a Philip Morris Sales Representative since I am in charge of ordering the cigarettes at my job. The actual shelf life of Philip Morris products is one year from the manufacture date. You are correct in the way you read the date, however shelf life is one year for cartons made in regular facilities (designated by a V, N, W, P before the Julian date). The shelf life of cartons made in a facility using cold storage is extended another 3 months past that (designated by a C or R before the Julian date). If you are really concerned about smoking stale cigarettes you probably should not be smoking in the first place. My information is coming straight off of a Philip Morris Julian Dates Codes sheet and I quote "**Julian Date Codes indicate when Philip Morris USA cigarettes were manufactured and whether product is out-of-date. The shelf life of cigarettes is typically 12 months, except it is 15 months for cartons that were placed in cold storage after manufacturing." I do not know who you talked to but your information is faulty. My suggestion to you is next time you want to throw a tantrum at the local grocery store about your cigarettes that are 4 months old, you should think twice and mind your own business, suck it up and buy them. Other wise you should probably kick the habit.

    -2 Votes
  • No
      17th of Jan, 2011

    I don't blame you for not wanting to buy old cigs but it does zero good to blame the store. Most store owners and their employees know nothing about the dates on smokes. In most cases the tobacco rep comes around once a month or so and takes care of the old product found on the shelf, by giving them credit for it, or putting a sticker on it to allow the distributor to replace the carton. They do not take them back unless they are way out of date by over a year, and the store owners only choice is to sell them if they don't allow them to be returned. As of last spring I think, we were told that most companies will not take them back at all, as in, all sales to the store are final! In turn, all sales to the customer are final! If you order them, I bring them to the counter for your inspection. If you pay for them they are yours. I will not exchange them or refund your money, THEY ARE YOURS. If we get stuck with a carton of old smokes, we either sell them or lose the 30+ dollars we have invested. This means selling appr. 11-12 cartons without profit. I work at a store that works very hard to keep the freshest possible smokes on the shelf by rotating the product daily to keep it fresh. Smokes coming from the distributor however, are already 3 months old, and every six months the distributor cleans out the warehouse and sends smokes 6months old or older to us, that they find back in the corner somewhere. We have no choice but to sell them first and take newer product off the shelf until they're gone. We are one of the three largest retailers in Missouri according to the rep I talked to, so if we can't get them any fresher, nobody can. Or maybe because we can sell them so quickly, we get the old ones on purpose. We, "the store" are told that they are good to be sold for 14 -16 months. So basically, if you don't like it get the hell out of my store!

    +3 Votes
  • Pu
      17th of Aug, 2013

    You are correct about shelf life in ideal conditions.
    But here in Tennessee we have a distributer that
    supplies most of the convient stores and they DO NOT
    rotate their stock. Its not the stores fault its the
    distributer. I know this from a employee that works their.
    On my Marlboro Southern Cut brand i have been buying
    code V161X31B7. Where the "V" is Virginia,
    161 is about the second week in June, and the 3 after
    the "X" is for 2013. They have been good.
    This store i buy from runs out from time to time and the
    distriduter comes every Friday.
    It is now Aug. 2013. The packs i bought yesterday have
    V077Y31B3. Where "V" is Virginia, 077 is the second week of
    March. These are bitter, strong, and nasty.
    This proves the distributer Does Not Rotate their stock.
    Also they are not stored in ideal conditions. So the 9 to 12 month
    shelf life does not apply.
    If you find this happining in your area, talk to the store Mgr.
    And educate him on the date codes for PM brands.
    Have hom fusd at the distributer. After all he can refuse the order
    if they are old & demand fresher stock.

    +2 Votes
  • Sm
      27th of Feb, 2014

    Would you eat bread that was on the shelf for 12 months? You would like it soft and fresh right? SAME with 2-3 months is tops. Then they are harsh so STFU all u idiots!

    +3 Votes
  • Ch
      8th of Mar, 2014

    What would Marlboro Menthol Gold Pack marked R044Z3B3 mean? Wife bought 3 cartons on a Carnival cruise to Bahamas for me on3/4/14 what does the R mean ?

    +1 Votes
  • Sa
      2nd of May, 2014

    ChasO - This means that your cigs were manufactured on the 044th day of the year and Z3 means 2013. So approximately February 13, 2013. THEY ARE OLD, MAN!!! I bet they don't taste too good, do they?!?

    0 Votes
  • Ce
      15th of Jun, 2014

    Can you tell me how to check manufactured date for cigarette that is being produce in China. I look at the bottom of the pack and it printed as "CN11324902" so i don't know how to check it.

    +1 Votes
  • Ke
      16th of Jul, 2014

    I'm so sick of stores selling stale cigarettes. If I'm going to pay $9 - $11 a pack for cigarettes I want them fresh! No exceptions. If they were cheaper, say $5 a pack I wouldn't make such a big deal but since they are so expensive I expect them to be top quality.

    +2 Votes
  • Do
      29th of Aug, 2014

    the manufacturer
    should have a salesmen check the stock every time he is in the store then the distributor couldn, t rip the store and customers off, a distributor should have refrigerated storage but most don, t spend the money to store the stock the right way, , , ,

    +2 Votes
  • Ja
      30th of Sep, 2014

    Can someone assist in decoding the manufacture date of Marlboro Gold made in Portugal?
    The code is PC07826

    0 Votes
  • Th
      13th of Nov, 2014

    Whats the difference between a Z a V and an X? And whats does the number after the B stand for?

    0 Votes
  • Sc
      14th of Jan, 2016

    I just bought a carton of cigs they said they were old I said how old she said she didn't know she gave them to me half price but then ran into these articles about codes my code on bottom of cigs are 02394 how do you decode that I have no letters in my code of numbers ?

    0 Votes
  • Ed
      19th of Nov, 2017

    Just Bought a pack of Marlboro regular shorts in a hard pack that is stamped R 097 Z 7 187. This is from a shipment the store clams they just got in and I have never seen a pack with the R on it. Prior to this they were selling V257 Y 7 187 and from my understanding of the codes put then at less than 90 day of manufacturing. as of 11/19/2017. So basically I was wondering what's up with the R and the obvious early date of production.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      19th of Dec, 2018

    Hi my name is Timothy Burns, I bought a pack of Marlboro lights n when I opened them the aluminum pulled out n the cigarettes went everywhere n broke half of the pack. Would like to be reimbursed please.

    -1 Votes
  • Ja
      18th of Feb, 2019

    I just bought these from a local store what can be said of them are they dated right and do they have the correct packaging? I am wondering because when you smoke them they taste horrible most the time i can’t smoke but about a half of one and they burn very quickly along with they have spots when they burn that will make a black spot on them ! I uploaded some pictures of them I hope that they upload right. Thanks in advance for all your help

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      18th of Feb, 2019

    Pic is below for your reference

    0 Votes
  • As
      21st of Mar, 2019

    Y260Y88A2 can someone please tell me the date. Thnks!

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      31st of Mar, 2019

    There is no date on the bottom of the cigarettes that looks anything like that the only thing it says is May 14th next to that says MDA 4318608 and underneath that says QRB EZM YC6 90E

    0 Votes

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