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Word Count: 852
For something that looks as if it came from your rain gutter bidis have seen a surge in popularity among the American youth Beyond the chest beating about the health risks of bidis traditional tobacco connoisseurs find themselves shaking their heads and wondering why anyone would want to fire up such a ragged and tarry smoke Why would people want to wear unwieldy platform shoes Its fashion I dont know why anyone would smoke them personally says Greg Jones manager of Creager Mercantile a Denver based tobacco wholesaler Its probably just the way they look Until recently few people knew what they were but in recent months bidis have made headlines State attorneys general including Colorados Ken Salazar have urged federal officials to restrict their importation because they have become so popular with the underage youth Recently Durango tobacco shop owner Don Hall stopped selling bidis at his store after agents caught him in a sting operation that targeted Internet companies selling to minors Bidis which minors cant legally buy in Colorado look nothing like traditional American- made cigarettes Some even come in kid friendly flavors such as chocolate and strawberry a fact that health authorities find particularly vexing The national Campaign for Tobacco - Free Kids maintains that the flavoring is added specifically for the American youth market They feature a sprinkling of bone dry lower grade tobacco rolled up in a green tendu leaf a plant related to the eucalyptus and bound at the but end with a piece of string thats about the gauge of dental floss Bidis are slightly tapered and look sort of like miniature versions of the torpedo cigar style Fire one up and the ash is liable to adorn your lap like snowflakes And since they are loosely wrapped they are hard to keep lit and require deeper puffing Nor do they qualify as cheap alternatives to regular cigarettes The price of a pack
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