Published on July 31, 2009
Tobacco and….. Poverty Human Rights The Environment
Vietnam: Male smoking rate over 50% - Female 2% - Youth 21%
Male smoking rate 44% Female smoking rate 7%
The Real Face of Tobacco Farming These children of Nigerian tobacco farmers grow up exposed to harsh working conditions, poisons and poverty.
In the Sinaloa Valleys of Mexico 200,000 native migrant workers harvest tobacco each year. 50,000 of them are children between the ages of 5-14. The young children are especially useful in cutting and bundling the tobacco leaves. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (07/07 )
Working with the plants without protective clothing, the children absorb the poisons through their skin. Some also develop “Green Tobacco Sickness” which is caused by absorbing the nicotine from handling the damp plants
Children in India hand rolling cigarettes. Victims of bonded labor
Tobacco destroys childhood. Listen to Laksmi, a 9 year old cigarette roller from India as he tells about his family. “ My sister is ten years old. Every morning at seven she goes to the bonded labor man, and every night at nine she comes home. He treats her badly; he hits her if he thinks she is working slowly or if she talks to the other children, he yells at her, he comes looking for her if she is sick and cannot go to work. I feel this is very difficult for her. I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home from the bonded labor man. For 600 rupees ($17.20 US) I can bring her home - that is our only chance to get her back. We don’t have 600 rupees….. We will never have 600 rupees.
This child in India labor was burned on the leg with a hot knife for running away from the bonded labor man.
Deforestation Desertification Soil Depletion Chemical Poisoning TOBACCO AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Young tobacco plants need lots of water to survive. This consumes even more of one of the farmer’s most precious resources.
Tobacco is a delicate plant that is prone to many diseases and pests. Some management guides call for as many as 16 applications of pesticides during the three-month growing period before the plants even leave the greenhouse or seed beds.
Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides poison farm workers (usually children in Africa), seep into the soil and pollute waterways and ecological systems, and poison livestock and food crops.
It’s Bigger Than Your Habit The Tobacco Industry… Exploits the Third World Perpetuates the bonded labor of adults and children Traps farmers in an unbreakable cycle of poverty Causes environmental destruction Uses deception to increase profits
The Tobacco Industry…
Exploits the Third World
Perpetuates the bonded labor of adults and children
Traps farmers in an unbreakable cycle of poverty
Causes environmental destruction
Uses deception to increase profits
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