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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]

In 2014, Eric Garner died when NYPD officers attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling loosies.[4]


  1. ^ Christopher Mathias (April 6, 2011). "I Love 'Loosies': In Defense of Black Market Cigarettes". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  2. ^ Goldstein, Joseph (April 4, 2011). "On Manhattan Streets, Loosie Men Sell Illegal Smokes". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Kehrt, Sonner (October 19, 2016). "Proposed $2 cigarette tax sparks fear of sale of "loosies"". Oakland North. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Solange Uwimana (October 23, 2014). "How Illegal Cigarettes Get Smuggled and Sold in New York City". Vice. Retrieved November 16, 2015.