Bidis vs Cigarettes – Which is Worse?
What is the difference between bidis and cigarettes?
Bidis, also spelled as beedis, are hand-rolled cigarettes. They are rolled in dried betel leaves as opposed to cigarettes that are rolled in paper. Beedis come in a variety of popular flavors like vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, etc. They do not contain filters like cigarettes do. They contain greater amounts of chemicals like ammonia, phenol and hydrogen cyanide. They contain lesser amount of tobacco but greater concentration of nicotine as compared to regular cigarettes.
Bidis vs cigarettes – Which is worse?
A lot of people, especially youngsters, have a notion that bidis are better than cigarettes because they taste good and look herbal due to the leaf wrapping. But this is a dangerous misconception. Bidis contain tobacco and, therefore, nicotine. They are highly addictive. They also contain other chemicals like hydrogen cyanide and ammonia in greater amounts than found in regular cigarettes.
Bidis could actually be worse than cigarettes due to a lot many reasons. They contain less tobacco but more nicotine than regular cigarettes. They pose the same risks for cancer, emphysema, heart diseases, etc. as cigarettes. Also, to keep beedis lit, you have to take more frequent and deeper puffs as compared to cigarettes. So, you may end up inhaling more smoke and taking it deeper into your lungs.
Another major problem with bidis, especially in the United States, is that there is a substantial percentage of teenagers taking to bidi smoking due to their easy availability and low cost. Also, due to the misconception that beedis are herbal and, therefore less harmful, many youngsters are taking to it thinking that its safe. They are unknowingly exposing themselves to increased risk of cancer as well as lung and heart disease along with other problems related to smoking and tobacco use.
So its best to stay away from beedis as they are, in many ways, worse than cigarettes. They are a major health hazard and you should ideally stay away from them.