Child Labor in Tobacco Fields

A 2001 study found that one in four tobacco workers suffers from acute nicotine poisoning, or “green tobacco sickness.” Gabriel Thompson looks at this illness and at why children are allowed to work in tobacco fields in this country—these hazards have led countries like Russia and Kazakhstan to ban anyone under 18 from harvesting tobacco, but no such prohibition exists here. Thompson’s article, reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, “Leaves of Poison: Why Are Children Working in Tobacco Fields?” is in the December 2 issue of The Nation. He’ll be joined by Mariya Strauss, who has done extensive reporting on child labor laws in this country.