Bidi smoking and health

M. Rahman, T. Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bidi, made of low-grade tobacco, is popular among rural folk and the urban poor, in the South Asian region. The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess the extent of bidi smoking in different countries; (2) to compare its smoke and health hazards with conventional cigarettes and; (3) to recommend preventive measures. English language articles were identified through a MEDLINE computerised search (1966-1998) using the term 'bidi', 'beedi', 'beedie', 'biri' and manually in order to collate all the available information and to present a descriptive epidemiological profile. The prevalence of bidi smoking was found to be 21-56% among men in South Asian countries with very little information available about women. Concentrations of nicotine, tar and other toxic agents in the smoke are higher for bidi than for other cigarettes. Bidi smoking is also considered to cause about 2-3 times greater nicotine and tar inhalation than do conventional cigarettes, due to the poor combustibility of the bidi wrapper and greater puff frequency needed to keep the bidi alight. It has also been shown to have greater odds ratios, although not statistically significant, for various cancerous and chronic conditions in comparison with other cigarettes. Since bidi is hand-rolled, workers employed in bidi factories are at risk of developing cancerous conditions due to exposure to tobacco dust and flakes. We suggest that anti-smoking campaigns should be directed to the bidi smokers of all South Asian countries. Most bidi smokers are illiterate and malnourished which makes them more vulnerable to smoking-related morbidity and mortality. At the same time, measures should be taken to make bidi less harmful and to produce bidi by machine to reduce exposure-related toxicity among bidi production workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalPublic Health
Volume114
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

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smoking
Tobacco Products
Smoking
nicotine
Health
Tars
health
available information
Nicotine
Smoke
Tobacco
worker
Poisons
Dust
factory
MEDLINE
morbidity
Inhalation
English language
Language

Keywords

  • Bidi cigarettes
  • Cancer
  • Health hazards
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Rahman, M., & Fukui, T. (2000). Bidi smoking and health. Public Health, 114(2), 123-127.

Bidi smoking and health. / Rahman, M.; Fukui, T.

In: Public Health, Vol. 114, No. 2, 03.2000, p. 123-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rahman, M & Fukui, T 2000, 'Bidi smoking and health', Public Health, vol. 114, no. 2, pp. 123-127.
Rahman M, Fukui T. Bidi smoking and health. Public Health. 2000 Mar;114(2):123-127.
Rahman, M. ; Fukui, T. / Bidi smoking and health. In: Public Health. 2000 ; Vol. 114, No. 2. pp. 123-127.
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