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US bans bidis made by Indian tobacco company

Published on Feb 22, 2014 2:04 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US regulators Friday banned the sale and import of small cigarettes known as bidis made by an Indian company, their first such action since being given oversight of tobacco products in 2009.

Bidis are small, hand-rolled cigarettes that contain tobacco wrapped in leaves from a tendu tree, and may come in various flavors.

The move by the US Food and Drug Administration applies to four varieties made by Jash International, which an agency spokeswoman described to AFP as an Indian company with headquarters in Illinois.

The ban came about because the products were found to be substantially different from existing tobacco products on the market as of 2007, and did not meet new regulatory requirements, the FDA said.

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