Social disruption caused by tobacco growing

Publication Date: 

June 2, 2008


Study conducted for the Second meeting of the Study Group on Economically Sustainable Alternatives to Tobacco Growing - WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control


Marty Otañez

Tobacco farming involves severe, arguably irreversible costs to farmers and their families. Some of these costs of tobacco farming are child labor, bonded labor and environmental degradation, all leading to worsen and perpetuate the conditions of poverty of the farmers. Men, women and children who cultivate tobacco experience long hours of stoop labor, harassment in work activities, abject poverty, staggering debt, exposure to nicotine and pesticides, and poor health.3 Tobacco farming costs increase poverty and economic underdevelopment of individual farmers as well as families, communities and countries. Tobacco growing developing countries, particularly developing countries are vulnerable to child labor and deforestation.