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Betel Nut Chewers in Asia
Regular betel nut chewers stand out from the crowd with their red-stained lips and teeth
The betel nut is a key part of many Asian cultures and can be consumed dried, fresh or wrapped up in a package known as a quid.
Although the exact preparation varies across countries and cultures, the quid is usually a mixture of slaked lime, a betel leaf and flavourings such as cardamom, cinnamon and tobacco.
Worryingly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists each ingredient, with the exception of cardamom and cinnamon, as a known carcinogen - or cancer-causing agent.
The slaked lime is seen as a particular problem as it causes hundreds of tiny abrasions to form in the mouth. This is thought to be a possible entry point for many of the cancer-causing chemicals.
"About half of the men here still don't know that betel nuts can cause oral cancer," says Prof Hahn Liang-jiunn, an oral cancer specialist at the National Taiwan University Hospital.
"[This is despite] Taiwan's incidence or mortality rates for oral cancer ranking among the top two or three in the world."
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