Nothing to smile about:

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Asia’s deadly addiction to betel quids

A man shows off his stained teeth, dyed red from years of chewing betel quids, potent parcels of areca nuts, lime and tobacco wrapped in a betel leaf. They give users a buzz when they're chewed, but are also known to cause oral cancer.
A man shows off his stained teeth, dyed red from years of chewing betel quids, potent parcels of areca nuts, lime and tobacco wrapped in a betel leaf. They give users a buzz when they’re chewed, but are also known to cause oral cancer.

Hundreds of millions of people chew betel quids, mostly in Asia

  • Research shows that chewing the parcels raises the risk of oral cancer
  • Betel quids are parcels of areca nuts and tobacco wrapped in a lime-coated betel leaf
  • In Myanmar, they’re popular with taxi drivers who use them to stay awake on the roads

Yangon, Myanmar (CNN) — Heavy users of betel quids reveal their addiction when they smile. Their teeth are stained a reddish-black, dyed from years of chewing potent parcels of areca nuts and tobacco, wrapped in a lime-coated betel leaf.

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