Beedi

A beedi (pron.: /?bi?di?/; from Hindi: ?; also spelled bidi or biri) is a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Bauhinia racemosa leaf tied with a string at one end. The name is derived from the Marwari word beeda—a leaf wrapped in betel nuts, herbs, and condiments. Tendu Patta (Leaf) Collection A traditional method of tobacco use throughout South Asia and parts of the Middle East, today beedies are popular and inexpensive in India. There, beedi consumption outpaces that of conventional cigarettes although these tobacco-filled leaves deliver more nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar and carry a greater risk of oral cancers. Beedies accounted for 48% of Indian tobacco consumption in 2008. As with many other types of smoking, beedis increase the risk of certain kinds of cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Indian tobacco cultivation began in the late 17th century, and beedies were first created when tobacco workers took left-over tobacco and rolled it in leaves. The commercial Indian beedi industry saw rapid growth during the 1930s probably driven by an expansion of tobacco cultivation at the time but also helped by Gandhi's support of Indian industry and Indian products. Perhaps due to this, educated classes in India grew to prefer beedies to cigarettes although this is no longer the case. Muslim leaders, calling cigarettes foreign products, have also endorsed beedies at times. By the middle of the 20th century b

edi manufacture had grown into a highly competitive industry. This stage of commercial production—at the height of the beedi's popularity[citation needed]—saw the creation of many new beedi brands as well as beedi factories employing upwards of one hundred, primarily male, beedi rollers. Factory-based beedi production declined as a result of increased regulation during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, and beedi-making became a cottage industry with a home-based women workforce predominantly employed only in the beedi rolling. In contrast, males continue to be employed in all aspects of beedi production. Poor man's cigarette Beedi smoking tends to be associated with a lower social standing, and these tobacco-filled leaves are inexpensive, when compared to regular cigarettes. Those with a high social standing who do smoke beedies often do so out of the public eye. [edit]Beedies in the United States In the United States, beedies are treated like conventional cigarettes. They are taxed at the same rates, are required to have a tax stamp, and must carry the Surgeon General's warning. A study done in San Francisco showed that about 4 in 10 packs of beedies did not contain the required warning label and 7 in 10 did not carry the tax stamp, however. 2006 statistics on beedi usage shows that 2.9% of high school students in the United States take part in beedi smoking compared to 1.4% of adults 18–24 years old. [edit]Flavored beedies Some beedies are flavoured. Both the US and Canada have banned flavoured cigarettes.