Multiple efforts to ban tobacco farm child labor

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public health advocates and lawmakers are working anew to bar children from working on tobacco farms.

The campaign comes two years after the Obama administration backed off a rule that would have banned children from dangerous agriculture jobs — including harvesting tobacco plants.

The new efforts were jumpstarted by a Human Rights Watch report in May. The report said nearly three-quarters of children interviewed by the New York-based advocacy group reported vomiting, nausea and headaches while working on tobacco farms. Those symptoms are consistent with nicotine poisoning, often called Green Tobacco Sickness.

The new approach includes legislation to ban kids under 18 from working on tobacco farms, pursuit of a narrower rule than the one that was scuttled and public pressure on tobacco companies from lawmakers and health groups.