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Protecting Our Brands

Protecting Our Brands - Philip Morris USA

Philip Morris USA makes high-quality products including Marlboro cigarettes, the largest selling cigarette brand in the U.S. We are committed to protecting our brands from those who would misuse our trademarks or engage in illegal activity involving our brands.

Philip Morris USA makes high-quality products including Marlboro cigarettes, the largest selling cigarette brand in the U.S. We are committed to protecting our brands from those who would misuse our trademarks or engage in illegal activity involving our brands.

We believe the cigarettes we manufacture should be sold in compliance with all laws and regulations.

The illicit cigarette trade poses an ongoing concern for our business, government and law enforcement, as well as the legitimate wholesale and retail trade. That’s why we play an active role in addressing this problem and supporting the work of regulatory and law enforcement authorities.

The vast majority of Marlboro brand cigarettes in the market are genuine cigarettes manufactured by PM USA that are sold legally with all appropriate taxes paid. However, we do not want our consumers to inadvertently purchase illicit cigarettes, which often fund other criminal activity.

Information about illicit cigarettes

  • Illicit cigarettes are more likely to be found at sources such as flea markets, online sellers, street sellers (including sidewalk and backpack vendors) and places where cigarettes are not generally sold (beauty salons, bars and restaurants).
  • Deeply discounted cigarettes are more likely to be either counterfeit cigarettes or cigarettes that have been illegally smuggled.
  • If a retailer pulls a pack of cigarettes from a source other than the display behind the counter, such as a hidden drawer or box under the counter, it may be counterfeit or smuggled product.
  • PM USA only sells its products in the U.S. All foreign variations of PM USA products, including Marlboro, can not be legally sold within the U.S.
  • Cigarettes should have the state tax stamp of the state in which it was purchased. For example, cigarettes purchased in California should have a California state stamp on the bottom. Cigarettes with the wrong state stamp are most often smuggled or counterfeit. North Carolina, South Carolina and South Dakota do not require tax stamps.
If you believe you have purchased illicit cigarettes, please call the PM USA Consumer Response Center at 1-800-343-0975, Option 1. If possible, please have both the pack of cigarettes and the address where you purchased the pack.

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CONTRABAND CIGARETTES

We define contraband cigarettes as product that is:

  • counterfeit
  • untaxed or under-taxed
  • illegally imported
  • stolen
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