29 Mar 2012

Port Moresby governor focusses on stopping betel nut sales

4:27 pm on 29 March 2012

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District says a primary concern is stopping the sale of betel nut.

Powes Parkop's comment follows research by the World Health Organisation showing the growing prevalence of betel nut chewing in Melanesia and Micronesia is leading to a rise in oral cancer.

Mr Parkop says the product was banned from being sold in public places in Port Moresby from 2009 but people have been evading the law.

"The betel nut vendors are very mobile. It's hard to contain them because they just carry sometimes the betel nut in their bags and they walk around in the street so the enforcers have to be mobile to catch them. But it's not been a hundred percent successful but it's much better now than it was some years ago."

Powes Parkop says the local government is working on encouraging people to give up chewing betel nut altogether.