3 Oct 2013

PNG's Powes says betel nut sales might return but under tough measures

6:58 am on 3 October 2013

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District says there's a possibility betel nut sales could eventually be re-introduced into the city, but only under strict conditions.

The ban on the sale of betel nut in Port Moresby, and chewing and spitting in public, began on Tuesday, though penalties for breaches will not be enforced until October 28.

Vendors will eventually be moved out of the city to sell betel nut, and chewing and spitting can only take place in private.

The Governor of National Capital District, Powes Parkop, says the sale, and public hygiene issues with betel nut has been too difficult to regulate under current circumstances.

"People just sell anywhere, anytime, and the chewing part is just an ugly, filthy habit, that people have been getting away with for too long. So this is why it has become necessary for us to shut it down in the city, lock it outside, and then if we are going to reintroduce it, we are going to reintroduce it under license, under strict condition of health and hygiene."

Powes Parkop says he wants betel nut regulations to eventually be a win, win situation where people can sell and chew, but it's not a menace to the city image and health-wise.