4 Oct 2019

Cancer danger highlighted on 'No Betel Nut Day'

9:50 am on 4 October 2019

To combat the damage caused by chewing betel nut, a Papua New Guinea NGO is running No Betel Nut Day today.

A betel nut stall in PNG.

A betel nut stall in PNG. Photo: Supplied / Ann M Clarke

Business4Health uses its business links to raise concerns about critical health issues in the PNG community.

And the oral cancers arising from betel nut use are a major focus for it.

Business4Health principal Ann Clarke said changing attitudes to betel nut use in PNG communities was going to be tough.

The challenge was similar to those faced by anti-smoking campaigners, she said.

"And if you think of it in that context it will take time but it also takes better education, better understanding of people's health," Ms Clarke said.

"For betel nut - it's so many things about the society. The price of betel nut here is factored into the basket that is the indicator of the consumer price index. So it is very much a big part of what goes on around here in Port Moresby.

Today's events begin with a breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce for all those committing to not chew betel nut for the day.