Children working in the tobacco fields is a tragedy.
- A 1993 study found that of children living on tobacco estates, 78 percent of 10-14 year olds and 55 percent of 7-9 year olds worked full or part-time. 1
- In India an estimated 325,000 children work rolling "bidis," thin cigarettes wrapped in the flavorful tendu leaf. Up to 50% of these children are bonded laborers, sold as slaves to their employers. 2
- In Brazil, almost 70% of the tobacco farm workers are under the age of 18.
- Children are more susceptible to green tobacco sickness (GTS), a type of nicotine poisoning which is caused by the absorption of nicotine through the skin during harvest.
- Tobacco companies have asked that school schedules be rearranged so children can be available to work in the tobacco fields.
1 Fyfe, Alec. "Bitter Harvest: Child Labor In Agriculture." 1997. International Labor Organization. 6 Mar. 2002 URL: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/actrav/genact/child/part2_a/agric.htm.
2 World Health Organization. "Tobacco and the Rights of the Child." 4 May 2001. 7 Mar. 2002