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They are too young to smoke, but allowed to work Virginia tobacco fields

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(CNN) — Children can’t light up, but there are some who suffer the effects of nicotine exposure as they labor in U.S. tobacco fields.

There is not an exact figure for how many children work in America’s tobacco fields, but Human Rights Watch interviewed nearly 150 for a new report on the dangers these workers face.

“I would barely eat anything because I wouldn’t get hungry,” one child worker, Elena G., 13, told the human rights group. “… Sometimes I felt like I needed to throw up. … I felt like I was going to faint. I would stop and just hold myself up with the tobacco plant.”

Nearly 75% of the children interviewed reported similar symptoms — nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, irritation and difficulty breathing. These are symptoms of acute nicotine poisoning, Human Rights Watch said.

And nicotine is not the only danger.

Exposure to pesticides from adjacent fields and accidents with sharp tools are also common, the report said.

“Once they sprayed where we were working. We were cutting the flower and the spray was right next to us in the part of the fields we had just finished working in. I couldn’t breathe,” Jocelyn R., 17, told HRW. “I started sneezing a lot. The chemicals would come over to us.”

Altria, one of the biggest cigarette makers, did not immediately comment on the report when contacted by CNN.

The study focused on four tobacco-growing states: North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

Children can legally work in the tobacco fields, and some as young as 11 and 12 years old do. These children primarily work during the summer to help support their families. The majority of them were Hispanic children of immigrants who lived in nearby towns, the report said.

“As the school year ends, children are heading into the tobacco fields, where they can’t avoid being exposed to dangerous nicotine, without smoking a single cigarette,” Margaret Wurth, a co-author of the report, said in a news release. “It’s no surprise the children exposed to poisons in the tobacco fields are getting sick.”

Many of the children the group spoke with reported working long hours without overtime pay or enough breaks, HRW said.

One of the recommendations of the report is that no one under 18 be allowed to work in tobacco fields, due to the risks that such exposure can bring.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Becky

    This is just another tool, weapon, drone, bombardment, in the
    Government’s arsenal to achieve its means to its end, through
    its own Media.
    We were once Government/Media, Inc. bombarded by the Fact
    that it was the Government preferred Illegal Foreign Invaders
    doing all the w ork, Americans were too lazy to do.
    Enter, Stage Left: The Human Rights Watch.

  • Becky

    Wikipedia: The George SOROS’ Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100
    Million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year. The $100 million contribution from the Open Society Foundation will be paid out over ten years in $10 million annual installments. The donation was the largest in the organization’s history.
    Oddly, no current data.

  • Becky

    Who actually runs this Administration while the Celebrity Agenda Spokesperson/Fundraiser travels his continuous circuits?
    Who is prime Donor, manager, of Media Matters;
    the Administration’s Pravda?
    Who has easy, walk-in access to the President of the US?
    Who develops the Government’s “Talking Points”?
    Who orchestrated and implemented the use and abuse of
    Tax Exempt/Non Profit Consortiums to aid, assist, bolster, own,
    manage, operate and run This Administration?
    George SOROS.

  • Becky

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code (the U.S. Tax code) permits,
    under section 501(c)(3), certain organizations to be exempt from income tax.
    The COST of this tax-free status is that such groups
    Another Law (IRS Law) this Democrats breaks systematically.

  • Becky

    Government Tax Exempt/Non Profit Special Interest Consortiums:
    Media Matters, Move On, Open Society, The Joyce Foundation of
    Gun Control, The Ford Foundation, Venture Richmond, Sports
    Backers, 2015 Bike Championships with Over Ride Bike Rules,
    Monroe Park Conservatory .
    Just a few cited as they are coming out of the woodwork and out
    of every Democratic orafice at local, state, and federal levels.

  • donny

    so how many of them are here legally?if your not here legally don’t expect to be covered by the very laws you refuse to

  • Becky

    Schools were originally let out for the children to help plant, work, and harvest the fields.
    History is currently being rewritten to become PC Compliant.

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