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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 (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". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  3. ^ "Proposed $2 cigarette tax sparks fear of sale of "loosies"". Oakland North. Retrieved 2017-10-30. loosies
  4. ^ Solange Uwimana (2014-10-23). "How Illegal Cigarettes Get Smuggled and Sold in New York City". Vice. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
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