Asian women who chew tobacco ‘at risk’


BBC Asian Network reports highlightshealth dangers of using Gutka

A BBC Asian Network report willinvestigate how British Asian women riskdeveloping mouth cancer as a resultof using Gutka, a form of chewing tobacco.

The National Cancer Intelligent Network, who revealed the first national report into cancer rates within ethnic groups, said Asian women were 80 percent more at risk of developing mouth cancer than white women.

Hazel Nunn, a specialist health advisor with Cancer Research told the BBC Asian Network Report that the results were “somewhat surprising given that Asian men are more likely than Asian women to smoke”.

She added that while smoking was the number one risk factor for oral cancers in terms of the number of cases across the board, the Asian Network report suggested that factors such as chewing tobacco and areca nut were more important than was first thought.

But it’s not just women that are at risk – the documentary also features insightful contributions from within the Asian community, including a teenager who claims after seeing his parents using Gutka, he first tried it at 5 years old.

Presenter Konnie Huq also hears from Rispal Chana, an NHS nurse working for Birmingham’s Stop Smoking Services.

She says that many clients have successfully quit cigarettes which is linked to mouth cancer. However, when it comes to chewing tobacco and areca nut, the battle has only just begun.

Rispal tells how she has also heard reports of children as young as 11 and 12 regularly chewing paan with areca nut and says that it’s common to see these mixtures sold alongside sweets in local stores.


Asian Network Reports: Goodbye to Gutka presented by Konnie Huq

Monday 26th October, 6pm 


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