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‘Paan’ use can cause oral cancer, other diseases, say experts

‘Paan’ use can cause oral cancer, other diseases, say experts

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On
Feb 28, 2018 - 02:14

KABUL (Pajhwok): Health experts say excessive use of Paan, a popular psychoactive substance, can lead to various fatal illnesses such as oral cancer, memory loss, transmission of infectious diseases, blackening of the teeth and bad smell.

"Paan" is a combination of lime, tobacco, breadcrumbs and a kind of fragrant sugar, such as mint. Pan is used more recently especially among young people in the country.

Dr. Mujtaba Sufi, a dermatologist, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the use of "Paan" was responsible for 90 per cent of oral cancer.

Moreover, Paan causes infections in the jawbone, behind and under the lips, causing cancer tumors in this area, destruction of ovaries, laryngeal cancer, stomach ulcer, memory loss, transmission of infection diseases, environmental pollution and other small and big health issues, he added.

Dr. Sufi said the use of Paan among the youth mainly stemmed from psychological problems and other issues like poverty and economic problems.

Types of Paan and its use by youth

Nasrat Ramz, one of the shopkeepers in Kabul City who sell Paan, cigar and vegetables, said there are different kinds of Paans such as Paan 55, Paan 24, Paan 66 and Paan Kol. “These are different in taste and quality but their price is the same. These Paans are in fact Pakistani and Indian Naswar.”

Syed Mahmood, one of the youth who chews Paan, said: “All of my friends used Paan, so I also tasted once but later I got addicted to it, now I cannot quit it.”

When asked if he knew what diseases could Paan cause to him, he said he knew it was dangerous for heath, but he did not believe it could cause cancer.

“This is manufactured in Afghanistan and one type called Paan Kol could cause cancer”, he believed.

But Ahmad Barakzai, 20, another addicted youth, said the worst drawback of Paan use was the bad smell from mouth. He said he was aware of Paan’s disadvantages as even necessary warnings had been mentioned on its packet.

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