Category Archives: Bidis

Bidis, what the hell are they? And why did the FDA just ban them?

bidis

The FDA just took its first action to actually ban a tobacco product — bidis.

I have to be honest, never heard of ’em before. ┬áThe FDA last week banned┬áSutra Bidis Red, Sutra Bidis Menthol, Sutra Bidis Red Cone and Sutra Bidis Menthol Cone. It’s the first substantive action the FDA has taken against a tobacco product since Obama signed legislation giving the agency expanded power over tobacco back in 2009.

What is a bidi? According to the Centers for Disease Control, they are:

… thin, hand rolled cigarettes that are made mostly in India and other Southeast Asian countries. The tobacco is wrapped in a tendu or temburni leaf, and tied with a colorful string. They come in flavors like chocolate, cherry or mango or may be unflavored. They have a higher amount of nicotine and tar and produce more carbon monoxide than traditional cigarettes.

That 2009 law banned candy-flavoured cigarettes (but not candy-flavoured cigars), because studies showed that 35 percent of teens start smoking cigarettes by first smoking candy-flavoured cigarettes.

So, not only do bidis have candy flavourings, they also have a higher level of nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide than traditional cigarettes.