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  Table of Contents 
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115

How to prevent and manage green tobacco sickness?

Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Gyeongju, South Korea

Date of Web Publication1-Oct-2018

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Kwan Lee
123, Dongdae-Ro, Gyeongju-Si, Gyeongsangbuk-Do 38066
South Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_93_18

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How to cite this article:
Acharya D, Lee K. How to prevent and manage green tobacco sickness?. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2018;22:115

How to cite this URL:
Acharya D, Lee K. How to prevent and manage green tobacco sickness?. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 19];22:115. Available from:

Recently, we found an interesting paper on green tobacco sickness (GTS) in India.[1] Authors explored a number of risk factors and methods to prevent GTS. Therefore, we would like to discuss our study experience on GTS in Korea. We know that India is one of the largest producers of tobacco leaves, following China and Brazil. GTS is acute nicotine poisoning, which occurs during tobacco leaf harvesting, in which the skin absorbs the nicotine.

Our studies from South Korea have clearly indicated that nicotine intoxication was possible through the respiratory tract in addition to absorption through contact.[2],[3]

In order to prevent absorption by the respiratory tract, ventilation should be thoroughly carried out at least when drying the tobacco leaves, and this should be well made and well aware to the workers and other concerned authorities. Meanwhile, caution should be exercised while wearing a raincoat to protect tobacco absorption through skin since hot weather in India is likely to cause heat-related illness.

Although many type of research from different parts of the world have reported the GTS as a major health issue, yet there is no internationally recognized cooperation and or guidance in its prevention and management. However, the production of tobacco leaves is still going on, and GTS in many parts of the world may be considered to be an important health problem among tobacco harvesters. We must make efforts in order to come together to engender a disease surveillance system up and running in order to prevent this outcome internationally.[4]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Fotedar S, Fotedar V. Green tobacco sickness: A brief review. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2017;21:101-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Park SJ, Kim JS, Kim JS, Lee K, Lim HS. Airborne nicotine concentrations in harvesting and the processing of tobacco leaves. J Korean Soc Occup Environ Hyg 2010;20:47-52.  Back to cited text no. 2
Yoo SJ, Park SJ, Kim BS, Lee K, Lim HS, Kim JS, et al. Airborne nicotine concentrations in the workplaces of tobacco farmers. J Prev Med Public Health 2014;47:144-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Lee K, Lim HS. Proposal of the global network for the study of green tobacco sickness. Cien Saude Colet 2013;18:1859-60.  Back to cited text no. 4


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