PLEASURE WARNING: Smoking is addictive; once you feel the pleasure you may never want to stop.

Date Code decoded for all major brands.

In order to get the most out of smoking, one should always buy fresh cigarettes. Here's how to tell if your cigarettes are fresh (I think 6 months is too long and don't buy anything more than 2:)

Philip Morris Brands:

(Marlboro, Parliament, Virginia Slim, Parliment, Basic, L/M, Bensen & Hedges, Merit)
The date codes for Phillip Morris products are on the bottom of the packs. The first set of 3 digit numbers signifies the day of the year. There are 365 days in a year and on leap year there are 366 so you just count the days. Then there is a letter of the alphabet and then a number which the number tells you what year it is the same way as the Pall Mall, Doral, and so on does.

Example: S270B0 = November 6th, 2010

RJR Brands:

(Winston, Camel, Salem, Doral, Kools, Pall Mall, Misty, Capri, Vantage)
The date codes for RJR products are on the bottom of the packs. It will say FSC, and a letter and a number. The letter is the month (A=January, B=February, etc) and the letter is the year (9=2009, 0=2010, etc.) That is the date they were made. Add 180 days to that, and that is when they expire.

Example: FSCB0 = February 2010

Lorillard Brands: (Newport, Maveric)
The date codes for Newport products are on the bottom of the packs. The first digit number signifies the year (9=2009, 0=2010 etc.) The letter is the month (B=January, L= February) using the following frase “Black or White” each letter representing all 12 months. Add 180 days to that, and that is when they expire.

Example: 0L = February 2010


(Lifted from another website.)


Great Info

Great Info.

I actually had the PM date code explained to me a while back by a PM customer service rep. They actually seemed quite interested in retailers that aren't rotating their stock - basically they don't want customers to get older and potentially stale cigs. As I recall, the first letter in PM brands indicates the factory (V on my Marlboro Gold Pack means "Virginia" and the other is some shift code which changes every 15 minutes - so the "B" means between 1215 and 1230 am. If there are more numbers/letters they indicate the machine. The key is to only buy your smokes at a place that sells a lot. Not much of a problem with popular brands but I can see how people who smoke less common brands could get older cigs. According to that same rep, anything under 180 days should be just fine and in most cases even a year is ok. I'm a little dubious of a year, but I always seem to get packs between 60 and 90 days old so it isn't an issue.

For the record, I'm pretty sure that Capri and Vantage are RJR brands.

I've made the changes.

That's what I get for copying and pasting. I've moved Vantage and Capri to RJR.


sometimes older is better. . .

I am a cigarette enthusiast, however, I detest the FSC flavor which led to RYO, so mostly I smoke Bali Shag, but I do still get factory rolled cigarettes & when I do I prefer to get okder packs w/o FSC. I have always smoked a great variety of brands & love the subtle differences of each recipe. . .when Lucky Strike filters were still available Stateside,they're what I liked most. . .Gitanes Blondes are my alltime faves & sometimes I dig the Gauloises oldschool nonfilters. . .those French cigs have a wonderful charcoal taste to them. . . anyway, most recently I've found quite a few drugstores have some Marlboro Virginia Blends that are pre FSC & I'm tellin' you, they taste so much better than an FSC smoke regardless of age. . .most noticeable with the first morning smoke the preFSC are so much better, I get a gag-reflex from FSC. . . so thanx for the decipher so now I'll be able to find out exactly how old these smokes are. . .also. love the site, it's pretty damn cool. . .

A little confused

I am from Canada but smoke Camel Filters so mine are imported and have this weird inscription on the bottom... It doesn't say FSC anywhere.. Inscription = JJA18B05

If anyone could help it would appreciated.. thanks

Can you confirm this stamp?

Just wanted to verify the production date of a pack I have...from what I understand of this explanation v353x18d2 would have been produced in December of 2011? Any way it could have been 2001?

Thanks for the help.

benson & hedges undated

hi, just found this unopened box of b&h without a date, i was wondering how old it is or if it's worth anything ?
the box is gold with black strip on top.

Irish cigerette

I found a box of cigerettes and want to know how old they are? I have the batch codes which are G020-72 B033086 16630 but don't know how to tell how old they are, can anyone help please ????


Hi could you please elaborate on the decoding of DavidOff ?

MattL_0138's picture


At the bottom of my marb reds the code suggest my one half empty pack was made in june 2011 and the unopened one in march 2011 we're in 2014 is that even possible. The opened one is S185B1 and the other is completely different. It's S06301 ? Help

Date Codes

I like my Marlboro Menthol Gold 100's {alias Menthol Light 100's}. Since the place I was purchasing my smokes not longer sells Cigarettes anymore as of 1 Sept 2014, I have had to purchase my brand elsewhere. They taste nasty! They don't have a clean, crisp, cool, light menthol taste. Especially the packs that have $1.00 off packaging wrapped around the pack. Those are horrid! I can taste the difference from the $1.00 off pack and an pack at regular price. I have purchase some at regular price without the $1.00 off PROMO I've viewed this site for how to read the date codes and it's a bit confusing to me. Can anyone tell me how to read this code on the bottom of this pack I have right now? Marlboro, Phillip Morris, code is V157Z44D1 and there is also a CA {California sticker stamp on the bottom which is t2VsXQ} which is off the pack of the $1.00 OFF Promo pack. here is another code off a regular price pack of smokes {V058X44A5 and the CA sticker stamp code is N3djnP}. Can anyone help me decipher these two codes?

Re: Date Codes

The V157Z44D1 was made at the plant in Virginia (hence, the first letter V), on June 6, 2014 (hence, the Julian date 157 and last digit of the year 4 after the Z shift). The V058X44A5 was also made at the plant in Virginia, on February 27, 2014 (hence the Julian date 058). The freshness is one year beyond the date stamped on the pack or carton.


I bought a pack of Marlboro smooths 100s today with the number V227Y43A1. With about 30 days a month, and the last number being 1, they were made in August of 2011? They don't taste that great, and if I have read the code correctly i think they should taste even worse! I even bought them at a tobacco shop. Did I read it right?


My response posted below.


That is incorrect. V227Y43A1 would be read like the following.
V- made in Vermont
227- on the 227th day of the year being August 15th
Y- shift it was made
4- year it was manufactured. Expiration is 180 days after so would have expired February 2015.
3A1- has something to do with the person that packaged it or something like that no a number you need to even look at.
Hope that helps :)

Bond Street??

I'm not sure where everyone is from or whether it counts but we have a cheap brand called bond street in Australia and it falls under Phillip Morris, it also says it's made in Korea.. My pack smells and tastes weird and the bottom of the pack says KB52518023 and under that series of letters and numbers it says 2331, I understand that K would be Korea and that B5 would likely mean 2015 but I'm lost for the rest, I tried to guess some of it but could make sense.

Marlboro's expiry date

My Marlboro code is BJ28515903 I would like to know what's the expiry date

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.