DOCTOR JULIE Cabato of the Regional Development Council is warning the public about the side effects of chewing “moma” or bettle nut.

“Moma” is the mixture of betel nut, gaw-wed [betel leaf paper], lime and tobacco, which is usually chewed and spit out.

Cabato said the habit can affect the colon as the system assumes to digest food while it can be associated with smoking as the consequences suffered by chewers are results of combined effects of chewing and smoking.

Regular intake can cause oral cancer, pre-neoplastic risks or dependence on it, human papilloma, hypertension, cardiovascular risks and abdominal abnormalities.

Cabato said chewing bettle nut can also harm the environment through the spittle thrown everywhere.

“Moma” spittle leaves a reddish residue on the grounds and can be seen everywhere in the region despite legislation’s aim to regulate it.

Chewing betel nut is a traditional custom in region giving a mild rush of energy, the mixture is also taken to give strength to work the fields the whole day. (With reports from Dimple Morales)