Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Senator Durbin Seeks Investigation Of Bidis

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Tuesday urged federal officials to investigate whether imported cigarettes called bidis or beedies should be sold in health food stores.

Bidis are hand-rolled, flavored, filterless cigarettes, and contain four to seven times the nicotine as regular US brands.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Durbin said that selling bidis "alongside vitamins and alternative medicine products could be a form of deceptive advertising."

The FTC is already investigating reports that bidis are sold without warning labels.

Durbin also asked the Food and Drug Administration to include bidis on its list of tobacco products to check during sting operations. He cited a study by the San Francisco Anti-Smoking Project that showed bidis were sold to minors without age identification twice as often as regular cigarettes.

Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS, (5/26/99) "Senator Seeks Cigarette Probe", Jennifer Loven


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