Comparison of the nicotine content of tobacco used in bidis and conventional cigarettes

Jennifer L. Malson, Kristi Sims, Ram Murty, Wallace B. Pickworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-183
Number of pages3
JournalTobacco control
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Beedies
  • Bidis
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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