Does betelnut kill?

April 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Does betelnut kill?

Betelnut, bilinat, buai

Does betelnut kill? Please leave a comment about this.



  1. Does Betelnut Kill? | QuickNews said,

    […] […]

  2. Jim Van der Kamp said,

    In my 20 years in Papua New Guinea and prior to that 18months in former Netherlands New Guinea, I have never come across any evidence that betelnut kills.
    My late wife was from the Trobriand Islands and I spent time there. The Trobriand Islanders chew betelnut from young age until death. Even without any teeth left, the nut , lime and mustard is made into a thick paste and kneaded with the gums.

  3. deberigny said,

    Jim, I think the problem is the lime especially if it is made out of sea coral – cancer of the mouth. Dave

  4. deberigny said,

  5. Rop Buai said,

    Source: Telegraph. co. uk
    Papua New Guinea bans betel nut
    A favourite pastime in Papua New Guineans, chewing betel nut, is to be banned on its streets.

    By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney
    Last Updated: 12:32PM GMT 06 Jan 2009
    Thousands of Papua New Guineans chew the small palm tree nuts, which are the size of a small egg, as they go about their business in the capital Port Moresby.
    The fruit, known as buai in Papua New Guinea (PNG), tastes very bitter, and is a mild stimulant that gives the chewer a small rush, similar to smoking a cigarette.
    The tradition, which has been practiced in PNG and across Asia for centuries, involves mixing the nut with lime powder and mustard.
    Users then chew the mixture until it turns their saliva red, before spitting the coloured spittle out on to the floor.
    It is this by-product of chewing betel nuts that Governor Powes Parkop wants to eliminate from the streets of Port Moresby. He argues it is an eyesore when spat on to the city’s pavements, buildings and statues and wants the sale and consumption of betel nuts to be banned in public places.
    “You know these people, they don’t pay tax and we spend a lot of money cleaning their mess or the mess caused by their consumers,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
    But the nuts also pose a health risk to the community. Mr Parkop said the nuts had been linked to the spread of tuberculosis, one of PNG’s biggest killers.
    “TB is on the rise in the city and one of the common way in which TB is being spread is by spitting. And most people are spitting in the city because they chew betel nut,” he said.
    Betel nut has also been proven to cause mouth cancer. The World Health Organisation has said that around 20 per cent of betel nut chewers in PNG suffer from oral diseases.
    The ban was due to come into force at the end of December, but has been delayed for a month while the local government decides how to implement the new laws.
    Betel nut is one of PNG’s biggest crops and provides thousands of informal jobs.

  6. deberigny said,

    Rop Buai, thanks for submitting that article from the “” Betelnuts and their use is an important issue for PNG.

    • Robert Boman said,

      I am working on civics and ethics assignment essay on the ethical standpoint surrounding the ban on the betelnut selling in the streets of port Moresby. I am of the view that a mere ban on selling of betelnut without alternative for those who eke out a living from betelnut selling is short sighted and would not be just. I ‘d rather think it be morally just to have betelnut selling to be regulated. Your thoughts and comments would be much appreciated.Tanik yu.

      • David Wall said,

        Robert, whatever way you look at betelnut usage, it does far less harm than alcohol does. Perhaps instead of banning the selling of belelnuts the authorities in Port Moresby should ban the selling of alcohol. David

  7. Robert Boman said,

    Thanks David for that I agree too but imposing bans on people sometimes do not always turn out to good. This at helps in developing my thoughts. Thanks again.


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