General Article Paan, bidi and shisha

Topic Selected: Smoking and Health
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Chewing tobacco

Betel quid, paan or gutkha is a mixture of ingredients including betel nut (also called areca nut), herbs, spices and often tobacco, wrapped in a betel leaf. Chewing smokeless tobacco, such as paan or gutkha, is popular with many people from south Asian communities, but all forms of tobacco can harm your health. Research has shown that using smokeless tobacco raises the risk of mouth cancer and oesophageal (food pipe) cancer.

Studies have also found that betel itself can raise the risk of cancer, so chewing betel quid without tobacco is still harmful.


Cigarettes, bidi and shisha

Smoking rates are higher among Bangladeshi men (40%) and Pakistani men (29%) than in the general population (21%). Indian men and south Asian women are less likely to smoke.

Smoking increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory (breathing) disease. This is true whether you smoke bidi (thin cigarettes of tobacco wrapped in brown tendu leaf), cigarettes or shisha (also kn...

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