How to date Argentine packs


It is not easy to date a cigarette pack because of the very little information appearing on the pack itself. Here there are some tips that can help collectors to identify the date when a pack was sold. See the summary table at the end.

Information appearing on the pack

  1. Price: All packs appearing since 1895 until 1979 had the price printed on the pack. In 1970 there was a change in local currency (because of inflation) from "pesos moneda nacional" to "pesos ley 18.188" (two zeros were taken off). The same symbol $ was used for both currencies. Packs form the year 1970 can be easily identified because they had two prices printed on the pack (for ex. $1.00 m$n 100))

  2. Number of cigarettes in the pack: Packs of 14, 12 and 10 cigarettes were predominant during the first half of the twentieth century and disappeared in the late 50's. 14 and 12 cig. packs were manufactured until ~1935 and 10 cig. packs until 1958. They were gradually displaced from the mid 50's by packs of 20 cigarettes. In the 80's the packs of 10 cigarettes (filtered) were launched again in the most popular brands. 14 cigarette packs appeared since 2000 (Jockey, Derby, Richmond), 16 cigarette packs in 2002 (Marlboro box). In 2003 Fénix was launched in packs of 7 and 30 cigarettes. In 2004 Melbourne was sold in packs of 19 cig and Viceroy and Camel box in packs of 15 cig. In 2006 Pall Mall was sold in hard boxes of 11 cigs.

  3. Filter: The Acetate filter appeared in Argentina in the early 60's. In 1975 there were no more non-filter brands (with the exception of a few very cheap brands such as Achalay, El Mangrullo, Boxer, Roger, etc)

  4. Size: 100mm brands appeared by the end of the 60's, 120mm brands (Benson & Hedges, Colorado, Jockey Club and Squire) were launched in 1973.

  5. Hard Box: The first "Flip Top open box" was Noblesse that appeared in 1970.

  6. Laws: Packs appearing between ~1950 and 1956 had the legend "ley 11275".

  7. Manufacturer: In 1978 Nobleza and Piccardo joined to form Nobleza-Piccardo. The legend "Nobleza-Piccardo Puan 470-Uspallata 1720" could be seen on the packs. In 1980 this legend changed to "Nobleza-Piccardo Av. 85 San Martín 645". In 1979 Massalin y Celasco, Particular, and Imparciales merged to form Massalin-Particulares. The legend "Massalin-Particulares Dr. L.Belaustegui 2701" appeared in the packs. This legend changed to "Massalin-Particulares Av. L.N.Alem 466" in 1983. From 1979 the cigarette market in Argentina is controlled by only two big companies: Nobleza-Piccardo (owned byr BAT) and Massalin-Particulares (owned by Philip Morris). From the year 2000 several new small factories (and other already existing) started to compete with the big two companies. (Coimexpor, Tab. Sarandí, Espert, Goloteca, Miguel Pascuzzi, Dólar, Deloren, Coop. de Tabacaleros de Jujuy, etc.).

  8. Health warning: appeared in 1986. In 2003 the part "Ley No 23.344" was gradually removed in some Massalin-Particulares brands. In 2005 Nobleza-Piccardo brands started to appear with the health warning in the back of the pack.

  9. Bar code: It started to appear in 1992. In 2003 only the brand Le Mans suave of 10 cig. does not have the bar code (this brand also has bar code since August 2003).

  10. Telephone for client information: It first appeared in Nobleza-Piccardo brands in 1992. Only the best selling brands of Massalin-Particulares had a 0-800 number from 1999. In 2002 almost all brands of Massalin Particulares had the 0-800 number. In 2000 info lines added 2 extra numbers (0-800-80000 became 0-800-8880000). The legend in Nobleza-Piccardo packs changed from "Atención al Consumidor" (attention to the consumer) to "Atención al Cliente" (attention to the client)

  11. Do not litter logo-Trash can/Tar, Nicotine & Monoxide content: They appeared starting in 1995 in Nobleza-Piccardo brands (without monoxide contents). In 2004 the trash can was removed and the Monoxide content appeared in the packs. In 2006 the trash can was added again with the new back health warning.

  12. Legend "sólo para adultos" (only for adults): It appeared on Massalin-Particulares packs in 1998. From 2002 the legend takes 3 lines instead of 2.

  13. BAT logo in Nobleza Piccardo brands: From 2000 most brands of Nobleza-Piccardo suffered a slight change in design incorporating the British American Tobacco logo (the three tobacco leaves).

  14. Expiration date: From 2005 the expiration date appeared in Nobleza-Piccardo brands with the legend "mejor antes de xx-xx-xxxx" (best before:  ) In 2007 it was moved from the top to the bottom of the side of the pack.

Information appearing on the tax stamp

  1. Fiscal Stamp: Since 1895 cigarettes pay taxes and they have a fiscal stamp or seal. Until 1956 the size of the fiscal stamp was 10cm ong by 1cm wide. It crossed the upper part of the pack sealing the front and back. The name or identification of the manufacturer appeared on the stamp. This stamp was replaced by a smaller one that sealed only the top of the pack. In 2002 the design of the tax-stamp was changed

  2. Law or decree number: The majority of the laws or decrees (internal taxes) that can be found in fiscal stamps are shown on the table below.

  3. Currency: Currency in Argentina changed several times in recent history due to hyperinflation. As previously mentioned in 1970 "pesos moneda nacional" ($ or m$n) were replaced by "pesos ley 18188" ($). In 1982 four ceros were removed and the new currency was called "pesos argentinos" ($a). Three years later (1985) another three zeros were taken off and the new currency was called "Australes" (A). In 1991 Australes were replaced by $ again. Price in fiscal staps appeared until 1991.
Law Year average price Law Year average price Decree Year
3747 1897 $0.10-0.20 18512 1970 $1=m$n100 1838/80 1980
9647 1915 $0.10-0.20 20422 1973 $2-$3 930/82 1982
11275 1923 $0.10-$0.30 20668 1974 $4-$5 157/83 1983
12148 1935 $0.35 21140 1975 $80-$100 2220/85 1985
13925 1950 $1-$4 21425 1976 $200 9141/86 1986
14393 1954 $5 21930 1979 $2000 1198/87 1987
16656 1964 $20-$30 23102 1984 389/89 1989
17171 1967 $40-$55 24674 1996 283/92 1992

Summary Table

Year What changed
1895 Cigarettes started paying taxes. The tax stamp appeared and the price was printed on the pack.
~1935 12 and 14 cig. packs are no longer produced.
1950-1956 Legend "ley 11275" was printed on the packs.
1956 Long tax stamp was replaced by the one presently used.
~1960 Unfiltered packs of 10 cig. were completely replaced by packs of 20 cig.
~1963 Filtered cigarettes appeared.
1969 100mm cigarettes appeared
1970 First "flip top" hard box appeared.
Price appeared in two currencies ($1 and m$n100)
1973 120mm cigarettes appeared
1978 Nobleza and Piccardo merged to form Nobleza-Piccardo (Puan-Uspallata address)
1979 Massalin y Celasco, Particular and Imparciales merged to form Massalin-Particulares (Dr. L.Belaustegui address)
1980 Address of Nobleza-Piccardo changed to "Av. 85 San Martín 645"
1982 Currency on the tax stamp changed from $ to $a.
1983 Address of Massalin-Particulares changed to "Av. L.N.Alem 466"
1985 Currency on the tax stamp changed from $a to A.
1986 Health Warning appeared
1991 Price stop appearing on the tax stamp.
1992 Bar code appeared in most packs (but not in all).
Telephone for client information appeared in Nobleza-Piccardo brands.
1995 The "do not litter" trash can logo appeared in Nobleza-Piccardo packs together with the tar & nicotine contents.
1998 The legend "sólo para adultos" apperaed in all Massalin-Particulares brands.
1999 Telephone for client information appeared only in best selling Massalin-Particulares brands (Marlboro & Marlboro lights).
2000 0-800 telephones changed from 9 to 11 digits. Nobleza-Piccardo changed the legend "atención al consumidor" to "atención al cliente"
BAT logo started appearing in Nobleza-Piccardo brands
2002 The legend "sólo para adultos" takes 3 lines instead of 2. At the same time the TE info line appeared in almost all Massalin Particulares brands
2003 Health warning: In 2003 the part "Ley No 23.344" is gradually removed in all Massalin-Particulares brands.
2004 The trash can logo is removed and the carbon monoxide content is printed in almost all Nobleza-Piccardo brands.
2005 The expiration date starts appearing in Nobleza-Piccardo brands.
The health warning in Nobleza-Piccardo brands starts appearing in the back of the pack.
2007 The expiration date appearing in Nobleza-Piccardo brands is moved from the top to the bottom on the side of the pack.
2009 Some of the brands manufactured by Nobleza-Piccardo changed the case of the health warning to uppercase and removed the part "Ley No 23.344".

last updated: 28 Oct 2009