BAN THE DIRTY, COSTLY BETEL NUT

Editorial

Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Sept. 1) – Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Shane Castles’ move to discourage betel nut chewing on police premises is welcomed.

Betel nut may be a well-establish part of our culture, as many would want to argue. But its negative effects on a person, family, workplace and the community are overwhelming.

Health authorities continue to warn us that chewing betel nut is a health risk. It can lead to mouth cancer.

Betel nut has also much to say in the family budget. Families that have parents and children chewing know what this is all about. They spend a good percentage of the family budget on betel nut.

Wonder why the family budget always runs out before the next payday?

It is no secret that office workers who chew betel nut tend to go out much during official hours compared to those who don’t.

This was done at the expense of the public.

Then you have the dirt and stains that associate with betel nut.

You don’t have to go elsewhere to realise this. Take a drive to the betel nut market at King George or a betel nut stall anywhere in Honiara.

So Mr Castles is not doing anything wrong when he wants to discourage his officers from chewing betel nut. He was simply trying to bring the message home that betel nut and good work ethics do not mix.

As law enforcers, officers must be presentable, act professionally and be in office during working hours. Those who cannot live without it can have it at home, but certainly not in official premises.

It would not be a bad idea to have this sort of campaign introduced into all public offices. It certainly would make a big difference to the way we conduct ourselves and perform our duties.

September 2, 2005

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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