Betel-nut chewing causes oral cancer.
The photograph is of a man from Sabah. He is chewing betel-nut - which
can be seen as a quid between his gums and buccal mucosa. A quid may be
sucked for several hours. This habit is associated with an increased
incidence of oral cancer amongst its users. The man is holding a leaf of
the large seed from the Asian palm tree (Areca catechu). It is often
chewed as a mixture of lime, tobacco, and betel-nut. It is wrapped in
the leaf of the betel pepper (Piper chavica betel) and sprinkled with
burnt lime, catechu gum from the Malayan acacia tree (Areca catechu),
and nutmeg, cardamom, or other species. The alkaloid, arecoline, is a
major constituent of betel-nut, and causes euphoric effects.
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