Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

NEW GUINEA: Spitting Betel Nuts ‘Spreading Tuberculosis'


The Telegraph (London) (10.31.12)

The newly-elected government of New Guinea wants to ban the habit of chewing betel nuts from the streets of Papua New Guinea, to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. The habit of chewing the small palm tree nut mixed with lime powder and mustard and spitting it out on the floor or ground is almost a national pastime. The mixture is a mild stimulant. Health experts have warned the government that the spittle is unhygienic and has led to rising rates of airborne disease. Powes Parkop, governor of Port Moresby, has been advocating for the ban for years as he believes the betel nut habit is unhygienic and unsafe. Minister for Environment and Conservation John Punari stated that the habit will have to be banned and that the government will have to legislate and force the legislation to ban betel nut chewing. One of the difficulties in banning betel nut chewing is its popularity and its contribution to the economy as thousands of people in New Guinea make a living from growing betel nuts and selling them on the streets of the capital and larger towns.


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in November 2, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.