Packs and Loosies

Photo By Lauren Lancaster, Courtesy of City Limits

“Newports! Newports!” You hear that call quite often when walking down 125th Street. Probably second only to women asking to braid your hair. Well, City Limits has done a little digging into the cigarette hustle that thrives in Harlem. There are some interesting smoking statistics and a little background on the sting operations cops do to catch these tobacco peddlers.

Do you think these guys impact how much people smoke or would people smoke just as much regardless of if they were  selling cheap cigarettes or not?

City Limits


9 thoughts on “Packs and Loosies

  1. I wonder how the selling of tax-free cigarettes on the street affects teenage smoking rates- I’ve got to think it only makes it that much easier for teens to smoke.

    And re: deleting the blog comment. Freedom of speech does not really apply to how an individual blog owner conducts their site. If a particular comment is deemed too inflammatory or insulting, it is their own descretion to delete or not. I think that by acknowledging that a comment was deleted and requesting that the commenter resubmit minus the name-calling is perfectly acceptable.

  2. Demetria,

    Freedom of speech is more than a dried up amendment to our constitution that is taught in high school, it is something we should cherish and protect, even when uncomfortable.

  3. Demetria,

    You deleting, editing this site is why it’s not relevant and, well basically sucks.

    You have to allow for even distasteful commentary, otherwise this will be a whitewashed insignificant empty place, something that is basically is today.

  4. I just deleted a comment by an anonymous user who chose to resort to name-calling. UF certainly encourages healthy debate of important subjects, but disrespect will not be tolerated. If you disagree with someone’s opinion,there are ways to state your case without personal attacks.

    Thank you to everyone who has been participating in a polite and civilized manner.

    For that anonymous poster, feel free to re-submit your comments without the personal insults.

    Thank you.

    -Demetria, Editor-In-Chief

  5. I think there would be fewer smokers if the bootleggers were not undercutting the market. I remember when the prices first went up to $8/pk. people said they would stop smoking. Some did, some cut back due to economics and others who can afford it are still puffing away. Newports are the most disgusting brand of cigarettes on the market and it is very interesting that Newports are the brand that they choose to hawk as opposed to say Mistys or Virginia Slims. By design? Hmmmmmm….

  6. People have got to stop blaming marketing and advertising for their deadly habits. We have a choice – stop blaming others and take responsibility yourself. This is the same welfare mentality in our neighborhood we hear when parents blame everyone but themselves for their kids turning out wrong.

    To turn Harlem around we need to be accountable for our actions and not play the victim all the time.

    We have brains. Lets use them. No excuses!

  7. The people who sell the “Newport’s” on the streets are doing the same thing as Drug Pushers do, and that is sell Poison. The only difference is that “Newport’s” will kill in Twenty Years and Dope might kill you with the next hit.
    Here is an excerpt about the effect of Menthol Cigarettes (which are marketed mostly to Blacks) do to the body:

    “The HSPH authors cite an analysis of tobacco industry documents which described internal industry research on the use and effects of menthol, confirming the influence of menthol on perceptions of cigarette smoke strength or “impact” and suggesting a number of physiological effects including menthol’s characteristic “cooling” effect, stimulation of nerves in the mouth and throat, anesthetic effect on the lung, enhanced absorption of other smoke constituents and altered respiratory patterns, including deeper inhalation.”

    “The HSPH authors note that tobacco manufacturers are more likely to advertise mentholated brands in areas with disproportionately higher minority populations, to feature non-White models in advertisements for mentholated cigarettes and to advertise mentholated cigarettes in magazines with higher minority readerships.”

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