This September, 1998 confidential Philip Morris (PM) memo reveals that a number of consumers contacted PM complaining of physical illness after smoking beetle-infested cigarettes. The memo states,
Nine open Cambridge packs were examined to identify the insects causing the infestation. Live cigarette beetle adults were observed crawling throughout the sample bag, the open carton and the individual packs of cigarettes. Copious amounts of cigarette beetle frass [insect excrement] were found throughout each pack, the carton and the sample bag. Extensive damage caused by cigarette beetle exploration and chewing was found in at least 80%of the cigarettes in any pack. Examination of the individual packs revealed 1-3 mm holes in the overwrap on and around the tax stamp on each pack...
Additional beetle/insect infestation documents
- COMPLAINT NUMBER: 1039311 -Consumer complained of a sore throat and returned the product to Philip Morris. Cigarettes were analyzed and beetle infestation was found.
- COMPLAINT NUMBER: 1034313 -Consumer reported nausea. Cigarettes were analyzed and showed beetle infestation.
- RE: CCRB - FYI SHERRI STEPHENS NUMBER 1037788 UPDATE - 1998 email showing a Philip Morris smoker went to see her doctor for what she believed was a lung infection, but it turned out she didn't have one. Beetle infestation was found in her cigarettes. The email states customer reported that "ever since she smoked those cigarettes she's had a hard time breathing."
- CUSTOMER COMPLAINT ID NO. 1034313, CC 98154-Confidential photograph of a cigarette showing beetle damage (chew holes, etc.)