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Logo of tobcontTobacco ControlCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Tob Control. Jun 2001; 10(2): 181–183.
PMCID: PMC1747555
Comparison of the nicotine content of tobacco used in bidis and conventional cigarettes
J. Malson, K. Sims, R. Murty, and W. Pickworth
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
OBJECTIVE—To compare the nicotine content of 12 unfiltered brands of bidi cigarettes (hand rolled cigarettes imported from India) with 8 popular brands of filtered and unfiltered US and conventional cigarettes from India.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Identical laboratory procedures were used to determine nicotine content (in duplicate) and physical characteristics.
RESULTS—The nicotine concentration in the tobacco of bidi cigarettes (21.2 mg/g) was significantly greater than the tobacco from the commercial filtered (16.3 mg/g) and unfiltered cigarettes (13.5 mg/g).
CONCLUSIONS—Bidi cigarettes contain higher concentrations of nicotine than conventional cigarettes. Therefore, it is logical to presume that bidi smokers are at risk of becoming nicotine dependent. These findings belie a popular belief among US teens that bidis are a safe alternative to commercial cigarettes.

Keywords: bidis; beedies; youth
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