A beedi (/ˈbiːdiː/; from Hindi: बीड़ी; also spelled bidi or biri) is a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Piliostigma racemosum leaf tied with a string at one end. The name is derived from the Marwari word beeda—a mixture of betel nuts, herbs, and spices wrapped in a leaf.
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 and 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. They may also be more harmful than other forms of tobacco consumption. Continue reading “What is Bidi / Beedi ?”