New research into ways to stop Betel nut chewing

7:01 am on 16 May 2016

New research in Micronesia is hoping to lead to a programme that helps people quit chewing betel nut.

The University of Guam's Yvette Paulino said despite links between the narcotic and cancer, there had been very little research done on betel nut cessation programmes.

Dr Paulino said people are being recruited in Guam and the Northern Marianas to take part in the trial that would be modelled on similar programmes to help people quit tobacco.

She said there had been campaign-style interventions around the world, but never direct interventions.

Dr Paulino said there was a real need to help people stop as the habit evolved.

"Betel nut chewers tend to develop a tolerance to Betel nut chewing and so some of the evolutions that we are seeing taking place is the addition of tobacco to the quid and then now we are seeing younger generations spike the quid because the quid is not giving them the same effects so they would soak it for example in rum or vodka."

Betel Nut, or Buai

Betel Nut, or Buai Photo: Banni Pulikottil CC BY 2.5