Bidi cigarettes, sometimes called kretek or clove cigarettes (although the different names have their own specific meanings), have increased in popularity more than 400% in the last few years. In my area, 58% of high school students have experimented with them. Marketed as a safe, natural alternative, they cost about half as much as regular cigarettes and are much easier for children to purchase.
An article in the December 2000 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine confirmed that bidis are significantly more toxic than traditional American cigarettes. In this report, one bidi produced 3 times as much nicotine and carbon monoxide and 5 times as much tar as a regular cigarette.
Areas where bidis have long been smoked have the highest rates of oral cancer in the world.
You’ll want to read the compelling DrGreene.com story about bidis — why they taste so good, who’s making the money from poisoning our teens, and what your children need to know about clove cigarettes.