Prakash Gupta, DSc, FACE, Healis - Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, 601 Great Eastern Chambers, Plot 28, Sector 11, CBD, Belapur (East), Navi Mumbai 400614, India
Bidi use among youth and adults is a major focus of attention among researches in both the United States and India. Bidis are small, brown, hand-rolled cigarettes primarily made in India and other southeastern Asian countries. Bidis are the main tobacco smoking sticks in India. The annual production of bidis in India is 700-800 billion pieces (compared < 100 billion cigarettes). They are much cheaper than cigarettes. There has been a rise in the popularity of bidis in the United States, especially among young people that has been confirmed through national surveys. The popularity of bidis among youth has heightened attention to the serious consequences associated bidi use. The consequences of bidi use range from coronary heart disease, cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach and liver. When tested on a standard smoking machine, bidis produced higher levels of carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar than cigarettes. Mumbai Cohort Study of 100000 persons shows that relative risk of several diseases including TB is high among bidi smokers.