US bans sale of bidis from Indian company

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By Y RAMA MOHAN | February 22, 2014 10:40 PM EST

For the first time, the US has banned the sale of bidis from India, citing the quality standards. Bidis are thin and hand-rolled cigarettes, made mostly in India and other South-east Asian countries. They are cheap smoking products in India and other Asian countries. 

Reuters
Representational picture: A man smokes next to a ''No Smoking'' sign in downtown Shanghai

The smoking products have been banned from selling in the US under its 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The ban has been imposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a statement FDA said that bidi products manufactured by Pune-based Jash International were found to be not substantially equivalent to tobaco consumable products sold in the US. 

Sutra Bidis Red, Sutra Bidis Menthol, Sutra Bidis Red Cone and Sutra Bidis Menthol Cone are the smoking products that have been found to be banned for sale in the US. 

Quoting Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, PTI said, "Historically, tobacco companies controlled which products came on and off the market without any oversight. But the Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA, a science-based regulatory agency, the authority to review applications and determine which new tobacco products may be sold and distributed under the law in order to protect public health". 

"Companies have an obligation to comply with the law - in this case, by providing evidence to support an SE application," said Zeller. 

"Because the company failed to meet the requirement of the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA's decision means that, regardless of when the products were manufactured, these four products can no longer be legally imported or sold or distributed through interstate commerce in the United States," the official said.  

(Photo: Reuters / )
Representational picture: A man smokes next to a ''No Smoking'' sign in downtown Shanghai
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