An after dinner sweet treat and common “mouth freshener” may be to blame for the high rise of oral cancer in the South Asian community, according to Medill Reports. Paan is made with a betel leaf and areca nut which are both carcinogenic. Paan is also said to be highly addictive.
In Chicago, it is so popular one paan shop is open 24 hours a day.
“Ingredients in it have tobacco elements, addiction related elements as well as carcinogenic elements in it which make it so enticing and powerful for people,” said Kirran Siddiqui of the Hamdard Center.
Paan is relatively cheap, selling for as little as a dollar. For some, it’s a cheap high.