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Betel nut (Arecha catechu) chips in a ladle. Betel nuts are the source of a habit-forming drug used throughout the Indian sub-continent. The chips can be chewed on their own or eaten in a popular snack called 'paan'. In this case the betel nuts are boiled in lime, dried and wrapped in a betel leaf spread with a spicy or sweet paste. Tobacco may also be added. It has an intoxicating effect like alcohol. Habitual use causes a discolouration of the mouth and teeth and may cause oral cancer.
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