While most of the tobacco is processed into cigarettes, the leftovers are used to make the popular beedi or bidi, where tobacco is wrapped in tendu leaves. Bidi manufacturing comes under the Indian cottage industry. Smokeless tobacco has been quite popular in the country for centuries with variants of chewing and snuffing tobacco products. Due to easy access and low cost, products such as paan/pan, gutka, and flavored tobacco are widely consumed by young and old alike. Unfortunately, this makes for distinct red paan stains on walls all over the country.
Indians in the north-eastern state of Tripura consumed the highest share of tobacco in 2017. In contrast, the south-western state of Goa consumed the lowest, making the national average close to 29 percent. There is a significantly higher percentage of male smokers than females in the country, a factor that reflects gender restrictions in society.
A series of legal precautions and warnings came into effect at the turn of the millennium. It started with banning advertising of tobacco and alcohol use, followed by mandatory pictorial warnings on products. A Supreme Court judgment in 2001 banned smoking in public spaces in the country, and a series of governmental anti-tobacco advertisements followed this messaging. Public spaces and restaurants have designated areas for smoking. The ban on the sale, manufacture, distribution, and storage of gutka and all its variants was implemented in May 2013 and consequent notifications have enforced a strict ban on all smokeless tobacco products.