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Marlboro Freshness Stamp - PM Date Code - Decode for Manufacturers Date


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Old 06-24-2009, 01:48 PM
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Post Marlboro Freshness Stamp - PM Date Code - Decode for Manufacturers Date

Since Marlboro has changed the lot stamp on cigarettes here is a quick how to for finding a stale pack before you leave the store.

An example Phillip Morris bar code is:

V159Z94A5

V (or first letter) = the state of manufacture with this one being Virginia

159 (or the next 3 numbers) = the day of the year the cigarettes were made. Consider just deviding this number by 30 for the nearest month this date could fall in.

Z = this is the month of production (the letters they have are still unknown so just use the number method).

9 = equals the year of production


I hate stale cigarettes and stores which sell them so I hope this helps someone. Remember to check while in the store as most retailers will not swap cigarettes or give refunds once you leave the store.

Last edited by Chief Smoker; 06-28-2009 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:05 AM
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One more thing to add to this post.

Phillip Morris claims a 14 month shelf life of cigarettes which I would have agreed with a few years ago. I think though PM products now carry around a 6 month shelf life only. I believe the FSC paper, or chemicals held within, are causing a dryer tobacco. If you cigarettes are more than 6 months old from the date stamp you can expect a harsher taste and should consider just returning them while in the store. Don't feel sorry for the store keeper. If they are not lazy they can receive full replacements from PM just by asking. Instead though they don't care about freshness and often sell 2 year old cigarettes to unknowing consumers. With the cost you pay........isn't that just unfair?
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:45 PM
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Default Marlboro - How to check when you pack was made

Wipeout,

This is really cool information. I never knew this!!

My pack is V092Y98A2 - yes, I'm from VA....

Do all brands do this or is it just Phillip Morris?
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:48 PM
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Being a previous Marlboro (King Size Soft Pack) smoker but now smoking Winston as they are less expensive this is interesting. I always wondered about PM's date code.

RJR is easy. F9 means the month and year. A= January, B=February and so on through L=December and 9 means 2009. So F9 means June 2009.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:46 PM
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PM, RJR, and Lorillard all have there own customer date codes and the post above was correct about RJR's as it is the easiest. I don't know lorillards as I like newports but they are a little too strong for my blood to smoke all the time.

The other makers which are considered Value or Discount brands do not manufacture the same brands daily and instead focus on one brand a month (with the exception of Star Scientific). They will always have codes on the bottom but instead of being birth codes they are lot codes and this is the way they want it to be intentionally to throw off consumers from knowing the product they are buying is stale. Let's face it, we have all tried a value or discount brand and we can all pretty much say we have had a stale pack at least once. I guess it is cheaper for them to lose a customer than to refine stale tobacco into recon. I have toured discount and value factories before and I must say most of them produce a premium cigarette taste. It is the fact they sit and sit with low sales that pushes stale products out the door. Most value brands will tell you they have the same swap out/rotation policy as the bigger makers but since they market to mom and pop gas stations I think it boils down to being lazy on the part of gas stations for not doing their job correctly.

Glad this could help .
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:58 PM
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Default code confusion

the pack I have now says v301x91b7 , I find that these codes that end in b3 or b1 taste stale and the ones with b5 or b7 seem better . Always wondered about those codes and what a smoke would taste like if it way made today instead of sitting on a shelf for so many months.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:16 PM
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Just got a pack from the middle of September I think. Tastes great.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:31 PM
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I have been getting nothing but stale to very stale cigarettes for months don't know if it is the time of year or what. according to the reply above they are only 2-3 months old. they end in A5 and the set of numbers after the v are 281 divided by three that is 9.36 and this is the 4th of dec, 2013 so I dont know if I should ask for ciggs with a number of no older than 300. would like any ideas thanks
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