clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can we trust the Philly cigarette tax revenue projections? A look inside the numbers

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

You can hear them calling in the street.

They lean on corners, squat on milk crates, rest on folding chairs – angling for a buck.

At the bustling intersection where Erie and Germantown Avenues slice through North Broad Street, they occupy every corner, calling to passersby:

"Loosie! Loosie!"

They’re the city’s black market cigarette hawks.

From packs semi-hidden in coat pockets or under thighs, the hawks sell individual "loosie" cigarettes. On a recent hot Friday afternoon, the going rate on North Broad was 50 cents a pop.

One seller who declined to be named – resting wearily against a bodega storefront – offered a bleak portrait of his business.

"It’s real bad," he said. "You don’t make that much money."

At this point, this seller and others mostly peddle to smokers who don’t have the cash on hand for a whole pack or teens who can’t buy legally.

Soon though, the entire dynamic could change.

Read the rest of the story on NewsWorks

Help Chalkbeat raise $80k by Dec 31

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom filling a vital community need. We could not do this without you, and we need your support to keep going in 2022.

Connect with your community

Find upcoming Philadelphia events

Events

  1. Dec 8 – Virtual Information Session

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat Philadelphia

Sign up for our newsletter.