Bidis, other smoking products no safer than conventional cigarettes

Studies published over the past several months disprove claims that products such as additive-free cigarettes, bidis, and novel cigarette-like devices are less toxic than conventional cigarettes. A study published in the December 2002 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research examined the effects of bidis–hand-rolled cigarettes from India–and additive-free American Spirit cigarettes. Bidis are popular with adolescents because many perceive them to be less of a risk to health than regular cigarettes, and because they are manufactured in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate or root beer.