Cultural Variations of Areca Nut Utilization and Its Availability in San Antonio, Texas

Phillip Yang, Aziz Saqr, Kim Lam, Zachary Harbin, Chatchawin Assanasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unknown in the U.S., areca nut (AN) is the fourth most used psychoactive substance in the world and is associated with oral cancers. We investigated the availability of AN in San Antonio ethnic grocery stores and assessed AN practices in immigrant communities. Grocery stores were contacted to assess AN availability. A survey on AN knowledge and utilization were administered at four community sites with large immigrant populations. 13 of the 19 identified grocery stores carried AN. Most survey participants (n = 66) recognized AN. Most Southeast Asians and South Asians knew what AN is, knew someone who uses it, and knew where to buy it. Most South Asian participants knew its harmful effects. AN usage is associated with older age, male sex, and recent immigration. AN is widely available and utilized among immigrant populations in San Antonio. Further work is needed to raise AN awareness among healthcare workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Areca nut
  • Betel nut
  • Immigrant
  • South Asian
  • Southeast Asian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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