Selling Death on Social Media: How bidis are reaching consumers online
India's unregulated bidi industry is exploiting the rapid growth of social media to market and sell its products to consumers.
India’s homegrown bidi industry is notoriously unregulated and is extending its reach into another space often lacking in oversight: social media.
While all tobacco products are marketed on the internet where restrictions are more difficult to enforce, the marketing strategies used for each product vary. Bidi companies tend to use direct marketing to sell their products online. This is a concern because exposure to bidi marketing leads to an increased likelihood of use among new and current consumers.1 Since not much is known about the prevalence of online bidi marketing, this report explores how and through which social media platforms bidis are marketed to consumers.