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Cigarettes: Cigarette smoking is more common in the urban areas of India and cigar use is seen in the big cities. Cigarette smoking is on the rise and is now also seen among teenage girls and young women.

Bidi (or beedi): Bidis are a popular form of smoking tobacco in India. they are known as the poor man’s cigarette. A bidi is hand-rolled and contains sun-cured, tobacco loosely packed and rolled inside a rectangular piece of dried tendu leaf and tied with a cotton thread.

Traditionally, bidis are non-filtered and non-flavoured, but bidis for export are often made with filters and flavour (fruits and chocolate) to make them attractive for teenagers.

Chellum (or chillom): This involves smoking tobacco in a clay pipe.

Chillum smoking increases chances of oral cancer and lung cancer. A chillum is shared by a group of individuals, so in addition to increasing their risk of cancer, people who share a chillum increase their chances of spreading colds, flu, and other lung illnesses. A chillum is also used for smoking narcotics like opium.

Hookah: A hookah is a device that heats the tobacco and passes it through water before the smoke is inhaled. The use of hookah was once on the decline, but it has increased in recent years. Hookah smoking is thought to be a sign of prestige and is available in highpriced coffee shops, in flavours like apple, strawberry and chocolate.

Hookah smoking is also finding increasing use among college students of both sexes. It is marketed as a “safe” recreational activity but it is not safe

Cheroots: A cheroot is a commercially made roll of heavy-bodied tobacco held together with a binder, fermented and clipped at both ends. In India, Cheroot is manufactured in the state of Tamil Nadu and smoked primarily in Kerala, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh states.

Chutta: Chuttas are coarse tobacco cigars that are smoked in the coastal areas of India. Reverse chutta smoking involves keeping the burning end of the chutta in the mouth and inhaling it. This practice increases the chance of oral cancer.

Hooklis: These are clay pipes with a wooden stem used mostly by men and mainly in rural North and West India, including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. On an average, about 15 grams of tobacco is smoked daily.

Once the pipe is lit, it is smoked frequently.


Smokeless tobacco is very common in India. Methods of consumption include chewing and applying tobacco preparations to the teeth and gums.

Gutka (or Gutkha): Gutka is a preparation of crushed areca nut, tobacco, catechu, paraffin wax, slaked lime and sweet or savoury flavorings.

All states of India have banned the sale, manufacture, distribution and storage of gutka and all its variants as per the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and
Restrictions on Sales) Regulation Act, 2011.

However, in order to circumvent the ban on the sale of gutkha, manufacturers are selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate
sachets, so that consumers can buy the pan masala and chewing tobacco separately and mix it themselves.

On 23 September 2016, the Supreme Court cracked down on the sale of gutkha ingredients, clarifying that it has banned the sale of all forms of chewable tobacco and

Pan (or paan) Masala: This is a commercial preparation containing areca nut, slaked lime, catechu and condiments, with or without powdered tobacco. It comes in
attractive sachets and tins, which can be stored and carried conveniently. Paan masala is very popular in urban areas and is fast becoming popular in rural areas. The Indian market for paan masala is now worth several hundred million US dollars.

Paan with tobacco: Paan chewing, or betel quid chewing, is often erroneously referred to as betel nut chewing. Paan consists of four main ingredients: betel leaf (Piper  betle), areca nut (Areca catechu), slaked lime [Ca(OH2)] and catechu (Acacia catechu).

Betel leaves contain volatile oils such as eugenol and terpenes, nitrates and small quantities of sugar, starch, tannin and several other substances.

Condiments and sweetening agents may be added as per regional practices and individual preferences. Sometime after its introduction, tobacco became an important constituent of paan, and most habitual paan chewers include tobacco.

Gul: The common name of this product is gudakhu. It is used in central and eastern parts of India. The ingredients include tobacco powder and molasses, and it is often used for cleaning teeth, mainly by women.

Commercially produced since 1986, gul is sold in toothpaste-like tubes.

Mishri: It is popular in Maharashtra, especially among women. It is applied to the teeth.

Khaini: Khali is popular in Bihar and other western and central states of India and is used both by men and women. Ingredients include tobacco, slaked lime paste and sometimes areca nut. It is usually prepared by the user from basic ingredients at the time of use.

Kimam: This is a paste placed in the mouth and chewed. The ingredients are tobacco, spices (cardamom, saffron and/or aniseed) and additives. It is prepared by processing tobacco leaves by removing their stalks and stems, then boiling and soaking them in water, flavoured with spices and additives.

The resulting pulp is mashed, strained, and dried into a paste.

Snuff: Snuff applied on gums and teeth especially by women in Gujarat.

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