PNG Capital City’s Betel Nut Ban Now In Effect

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PNG Capital City’s Betel Nut Ban Now In Effect Governor pleased that residents have responded well

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 1, 2014) – Papua New Guinea is imposing a total ban on the sale of betel nut in the capital Port Moresby from Jan 1 to counter the negative impact of betel nut chewing and spitting.

The move comes after a partial ban was introduced late last year when betel nut could only be sold at wholesale markets in the city.

Port Moresby's Governor, Powes Parkop told Pacific Beat the impact of the ban has "exceeded expectations" and the city is already looking much better.

"I am very pleased with the outcome, people have responded well," he said.

"But still there is some section of the population who keep on becoming a nuisance to everyone else.

"The temporary markets that we allow, we have to shut it down now because it pose some challenges as well in terms of containing the negative impact of betal nut chewing and spitting."'

Mr Parkop says people who do not abide by the new rules will be fined or made to perform two hours of community service. If not, they can be arrested and charged.

"Betel nut chewing is not done on a customary basis anymore, it is purely commercial and people are chewing 24/7 and that is why it has become a problem. If it was purely a customary practice, we won't have a problem, but now it has become purely commercial," he said.

"Eventually they will get used to the idea of driving out of the city and enjoying the betel nut outside of the city. Our people should not think too much about it... it's not we're depriving them totally and absolutely of the enjoyment of the betel nut.

"Some of them should get another life. They shouldn't give excuse. They are using those points as an excuse to leave our city with filth and ugly images and health problems."

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