Myanmar authorities will launch a campaign to remove betel stands from public areas and tourist attraction sites as an initial step to cut the use of betel, official media reported Sunday.
The campaign will be launched in cities first beginning the first week of this month to keep metropolitan cities and big towns clean, the Ministry of Health and Sports was quoted as saying. It is true that betel chewing is leaving all across the streets red marks as people do not swallow the substance.
The project will include arrangement to substitute the business of betel nut selling with other vocations, said an official of the ministry, warning of further deterrent punishment if betel nut shops are found and spitting in prohibited areas.
At the same time, the authorities are said to take steps to promote awareness of the danger of chewing betel nut which can cause oral cancer, throat cancer, gum cancer, tongue cancer and cavity cancer. Myanmar is reported to have most cases of oral cancer in Asia. The days of Burmese older people with a dark blackened smile are now numbered!