The use of betel nut is more predominant in Central Province with 63% of the population recorded as heavy chewers.
The 2012-2013 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) Provincial Analytical report revealed.
Only 37% of the population were recorded non-chewers or users of betel nut.
Following is Isabel province with 60% and Temotu with 59% out of their total population using betel nut.
Rennell Bellona province is the least recorded to have use betel nut accounting for only 25% of the total population.
The survey found out that all across the province’s, 49% of the total that use betel nut are 10 years and above.
The survey analysis showed that the use of betel nut all throughout the nine provinces is more prevalent among males accounting for 49% than females who accounts for 41%. So the proportion of males using betel nut is slightly higher than females.
The survey also found out that higher proportion of the population (46%) reported using betel nut in rural areas than in urban areas (43%).
As observed, people from parts of Central province are known to offload their betel nut market at the Yacht Club sea front, Savo market in White River and at Tommy Chan’s area in the heart of Chinatown.
As observed today, betel nut chewing is fast becoming a popular pastime for a lot of Solomon Islanders. Some say it is a form of relaxation after a busy day in the office, others say it is one way of getting to know more people.
By TEDDY KAFO