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In the United States, a loosie (or loosey) is a single cigarette that is purchased or sold.

The transaction is illegal and commonly found in low-income areas [1]. The high cost of cigarettes due to increased taxation has been blamed for increased sales of loosies. [2][3] The practice has also been associated with increased gang violence.[4]

In 2014, Eric Garner died when NYPD officers attempted to arrest him for selling loosies.[5]


  1. ^ Christopher Mathias (2011-04-06). "I Love 'Loosies': In Defense of Black Market Cigarettes". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Joseph (4 April 2011). "On Manhattan Streets, Loosie Men Sell Illegal Smokes". Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Proposed $2 cigarette tax sparks fear of sale of "loosies"". Oakland North. Retrieved 2017-10-30. loosies 
  4. ^ "'Loosies' Cigarette Sales Could Spark Gang Conflict, Alderman Says". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  5. ^ Solange Uwimana (2014-10-23). "How Illegal Cigarettes Get Smuggled and Sold in New York City". Vice. Retrieved 2015-11-16.