Breath carbon monoxide concentration in cigarette and bidi smokers in India

Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci. 2010 Jan-Mar;52(1):19-24.


Objective: To measure and compare the breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels in cigarette and bidi smokers in India.

Methods: Breath CO was measured in 389 smokers (241 cigarette smokers,148 bidi smokers) using portable breath CO analyser (Bedfont-England, Smokelyzer). Tobacco contents and length of single stick of different brands of cigarette and bidi were also measured.

Results: Their mean age was 38.7 +/- 13.4 years. The average duration of smoking was 18.2 +/- 13.0 years. Average breath CO levels were 15.6 +/- 7.0 ppm in smokers and 4.07 +/- 1.16 ppm in non-smokers. Average breath CO level was significantly higher in bidi smokers (18.9 +/- 7.7 ppm) compared to cigarette smokers (13.6 +/- 5.8 ppm) when total consumption of cigarette/bidi was more than five pack-years (p = 0.002). Average tobacco weight of bidi (216.8 mg) was significantly less than cigarette (696 mg).

Conclusions: Bidi is equally or more harmful than cigarette smoking. One bidi may be considered to one cigarette for calculating "pack-years" of smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breath Tests*
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking*
  • Young Adult


  • Carbon Monoxide