Chronic tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption are well-established risk factors for the development of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck. There are, however, a variety of other habitual and culturally based activities that are less commonly seen in the Western world and that are also risks factors for the development of this type of cancer. In this era of globalization, many of these habits have now crossed borders and appear in various areas throughout the world. This article reviews habitual and social risk factors for cancer of the head and neck, excluding smoking and alcohol consumption. These factors include chewing tobacco and snuff, areca nut in its various forms, Khat leaves, and the drinking of Maté. EBM rating: D.
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