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F.D.A. again.

Whilst trying to find out more about "biri" cigarettes from India I found an FDA article banning the sale of  4 bidi cigarettes in the USA.
They seem to be the same as biri to me.    Hopefully some one more knowledgeable than me can enlighten us as to the popularity etc. of these cigarettes. One of our Indian or Pakistani members might inform us.

The thing that caught my eye in the article was an announcement from the Schroeder Institute telling us that they do not want anything that is cheaply available to kids out there .

Is this why our inexpensive snuff gets such a hard time? 

And no connection ,but why do expensive cigars have no warning on the bands, or pictures of rotten livers on expensive champagne and brandy bottles.

Cheers all.


  • I remember bidis, living in USA, I tried a few in the 1990s and I thought of them right away reading your History post...Pretty terrible in my opinion so your not missing out. Where I live they were popular with skater crowd and anything Goth or Metal; that and those rustic Kretecs that looked like joints.

    I wonder if the ban has anything to do with the low tax value to the State?
  • AamonAamon Member
    We have plain packaging cigars in Australia, and a heath warning paper label ontop of the original band. I personally like the concept since you are not persuaded even slightly into buying a crappy cigar that looks nice with a fancy band.
  • IMO, Any thing burnt that is inhaled is not good for the lungs of anything that relies on them for life. Maybe in my future life I will be a plant and be happy with smoke in the air.
  • Bidis are used largely in India by the labour class and the lesser privileged (which are quite a large number of Indians). Cigarettes in India are expensive for those classes and hence they smoke this - and quite honestly, the ones who are hooked to this, rarely prefer a cigarette. I've tried a few and yes, I agree that while it is horrible in taste, but I guess the taste is an acquired one. It would be wrong to even remotely compare this to a cigar since it is just tobacco rolled in a burnable (is that even a word) leaf. 
  • newbiesnuffernewbiesnuffer Member
    edited July 2017 PM
    @ArtChoo - the ones which dont have the warning or are permitted under whatever 'law' (very much made to promote only businesses which can give govt a good return) or practices, are just one sided things which make a profit to everyone, including the government, since consumption is high and considered 'stylish' by its consumers. Why arent cigarettes banned? Same reason. I dont see any other rationale. 
  • Bidis are okay. Sharp, acrid taste, a bit like a Burma cheroot (which is nothing like a cigar as we know it), but a lot stronger. Not High Tobacco, but worth trying if you're sitting in a tea stall in Kokata and that's what everyone else is having.
  • Big tobacco buys the government . If anything is a threat to sales they want to put a stop to it.  Same goes with the evil empires of Big banking & Big Pharma . It all has to do with the love of money. So next time you ask why? You just have to point at who is pulling the strings ; The three puppet masters 

    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • PikeyPikey Member
    edited July 2017 PM
    I ve smoked a few bidis in my time . They're alright . According to older 'backpackers' many used to be repurposed for smoking charas and weed in farflung Indian paradises ...because rizla and other rolling papers were not readily available ...or all stuck together  in the humid Indian climates . A few of those intrepid holidaymakers took the taste home with them along with chai and other Indian marvels .  I smoked my first bidi and drank my first chai in a seedy nightclub in London :) 

    When i visited Karnataka a few years back ....I saw very few bidis being bought , smoked or sold . I had a few packs but  didn't really happen on a superior brand . Amongst the poorest workers and beggars there, gutkha and other oral tobaccos seemed by far the most popular .  
  • Can you imagine big tobacco telling lawmakers about unsafe products? I bet it looks a lot like that scene from Shawshank Redemption where the road contractor gives the warden a pie his wife made that includes an envelope full of cash. Who doesn't love a fine pie?
  • bobbob Member
    I remember bidis from the 90's too. I'd buy them at our Indian store. They were kinda neat but never really good. What they were good for was that they were incredibly cheap like a buck for a pack and you could smoke one in a very short amount of time making it easier to sneak a smoke break also you could claim they where herbal and not tobacco and not get in as much trouble at school. Don't miss them at all.
  • bobbob Member
    oh to give you a good idea of how not good they where. Some Indian immigrants smoked them sometimes but would mainly smoke American cigarettes. A lot of the local people who smoked them did so when short on cash. Nobody I ever saw or knew smoked them as a main type of tobacco. They really seemed hand made in the worst way that hand made can mean. The tobacco was in flakes and seemed really cheap and typically very loosely packed. And the leaf they're wrapped in made the smoke harsher.
  • yeah i agree, they were crap but kinda fun sometimes. had a distinct non-tobacco smell when burning too. This was like 1990
  • GrimGrim Member
    edited September 2017 PM
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