Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. The purchase of single cigarettes, known as loosies, allows for a more affordable cost than a pack of cigarettes. Many of the existing studies on loose cigarettes have used a small non-generalizable sample. This study examined the sociodemographic characteristics of loosie purchasers among adult cigarette smokers in the United States. Data from the 2006/07–2014/15 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey were analyzed. The sociodemographic characteristics of loosie users were examined by multivariable logistic regression. In 2014–2015, approximately 5.4% of adult smokers reported purchasing loosies compared to 3.7% in 2006–2007. Men (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.10–1.35), non-Hispanic Blacks (OR 3.30, 95% CI 2.89–3.77), Hispanics (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.67–2.32), and those living in a metropolitan area (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.02–1.33) had significantly higher odds of single cigarette purchase. Single cigarette use also varied by age, marital status, employment, and geographic region. Menthol cigarette smokers had higher odds of purchasing loosies compared to non-menthol smokers. Likewise, cigarette quit intention was significantly associated with odds of buying loosies. The prevalence of single cigarette purchases among smokers appears to be lower in a national sample compared to previous estimates reported in specific populations. However, certain subpopulations were more likely to purchase a single cigarette and may contribute to persistent disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Preventing the sale of loosies may improve the health outcomes of underserved communities, specifically those with low socioeconomic status.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health