A review on harmful effects of pan masala

Indian J Cancer. Oct-Dec 2015;52(4):663-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-509X.178449.


Pan masala (PM) is a mixture of areca nut with slaked lime, catechu and other flavoring agents. It is widely available and used by all the sections of the Indian society. It is genotoxic as it increases sister chromatin exchange and chromatin aberrations. Among humans, it is a leading cause of oral submucous fibrosis that often progresses to oral cancer. Among experimental animals, it leads to neoplastic lesions in lung, liver and stomach. It is hepatotoxic leading to increased level of enzymes, deranged carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. It is harmful to kidneys and testes leading to increased creatinine and sperm deformities respectively. PM is a very harmful substance affecting almost all organ systems, and there is immediate need for a national policy on complete ban on the production, storage, sale and marketing of PM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Areca / adverse effects
  • Areca / ultrastructure*
  • Carcinogens / analysis
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Mice


  • Carcinogens