Bidi use among urban youth--Massachusetts, March-April 1999

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Sep 17;48(36):796-9.


Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Bidis are small, brown, hand-rolled cigarettes primarily made in India and other southeast Asian countries consisting of tobacco wrapped in a tendu or temburni leaf (Diospyros melanoxylon ). In the United States, bidis are purchased for $1.50-$4.00 for one package of 20 and are available in different flavors (e.g., cherry, chocolate, and mango). Anecdotal reports indicate that bidi use was first observed during the mid-1990s and seems to be widespread among youth and racial/ethnic minority adolescents. This report summarizes preliminary data collected from a convenience sample of adolescents surveyed during March and early April 1999 in Massachusetts on the prevalence of bidi use among urban youth; these data indicate that of 642 youth surveyed, 40% had smoked bidis at least once during their lifetimes and 16% were current bidi smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tars
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Urban Population


  • Tars
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide