The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 600 million people use some form of betel nut. Betelnut is a popular psychoactive substance and is classed fourth place after nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine according to WHO.
PNG is no exception, betelnuts have always been a way of life for Papua New Guinean’s.
But the news that betelnut is classified as a carcinogen (a substance that forms cancer cells) by World Health Organisation (WHO) is nothing new and not intimidating.
Chewing betel nut has a long history reaching back 2,000 years, and many cultures claim to have found benefits associated with it.
Modern research shows while betel nut is an important cultural and social tradition in many countries, growing evidence points to serious health effects from regular use.
PNG is not the only betelnut chewing nation; countries like Philippines, Taipei, Guam and Malaysia also love this green gold.