Environmental risks and health hazards of bidi workers and their communities in India


Globally, tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats and a leading cause of death and disease in India, affecting nearly 1.35 million people each year. India is also the world's second-largest producer and consumer of tobacco. The most smoked tobacco product in India is bidi. It is estimated that about 71.8 million adults smoke bidi in India.

Bidis are small hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes wrapped in tendu or temburni leaf (Diospyros melanoxylon). Bidi smoke contains higher concentrations of nicotine, tar, and other toxic agents, in comparison to cigarette. The bidi industry employs approximately one million people, the vast majority of whom are women and children.

Beedi workers are constantly exposed to tobacco dust, fumes, and other hazardous chemicals such as nitrosamines and nicotine, which can be easily absorbed by the body through the skin, respiratory epithelium, and mucous membranes. However, there is no evidence synthesis on the environmental risks and health hazards in bidi workers, their families, and communities to inform policy makers and other stakeholders.


To assess the environmental risks and occupational health hazards of bidi workers and their communities in India.

Research Methodology

A scoping review will be conducted to identify and map evidence around environmental risks and health hazards associated with bidi rolling in bidi workers and their families and communities using indexed databases. Included studies will be screened, and data will be extracted using a pre-defined data extraction form. A narrative synthesis will be conducted.

Potential Impact:

This scoping review will help understand issues concerning bidi workers, their communities and families thus generating policy and practice relevant information which can inform. This can potentially inform policies, laws, and regulations.

The project is funded by WHO-India.