Tobacco Growing and Child Labour

The use of small children in the field of tobacco is dangerous and is also prohibited worldwide. Yet, children are still a part of tobacco plantation in major producing countries of tobacco.

In the country Malawi itself, there are around 78000 kids working on its plantation. Brazil, USA, Indonesia too are a part of this. It is quite common to witness children working on these farms; despite of several laws given out by USA government in order to protect children from nicotine harm in cigarettes, no restrictions have been placed to secure them from the exposure of nicotine on the fields. Such exposure is said to be quite hazardous for kids especially as their bodies and brain are still developing.

Why are they made to work in the tobacco field?

Kids who are not financially secured have to work in order to generate income for their family and contribute to the living. Since the amount paid by plantation owners and tobacco companies for the tobacco leaf are quite less, the farmers have to struggle to earn money. This results in farmers and their families growing more tobacco, managing it through adult-workforce. As the farmers find it difficult to pay wages to these seasonal workers, they are forced to make their family or relatives work, as they don’t have to pay them. Thus farming of tobacco usually becomes a chore for the families.

How is this bad?

It is highly dangerous as the kids are inevitably exposed to certain chemicals while working on the field. Moreover, the plant of tobacco is itself poisonous. Working on these fields, children could face the following diseases and injures;

  • Poisoning; that is, sickness from green tobacco
  • Joint and bone deformation that could be caused by holding heavy loads.
  • Skin rash, breathing difficulties, chemical poisoning, allergic reactions, vision impairment, infertility, nervous diseases and even liver damage when contacted with certain chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers
  • Back pain while harvesting
  • Mosquito related diseases and snakebites
  • Sunstrokes
  • Blisters and cuts
  • Fatigue and severe exhaustion
  • Redness in the body due to tremendous itching

Moreover, this kind of chore interferes with their development and also hampers their education, hence blocking their way out of poverty and getting them trapped in this cycle. Also, these kids are exploited as the payment of their hard work is not done. Certain rules laid out by the U.S government states that children are allowed to engage in the work that is light and not hazardous in nature. But when it comes to tobacco farming, children suffer. Therefore, kids are not supposed to work on this farm under 18.

How can it be prevented?

  • The prices paid by tobacco companies must increase, so that the farmers are able to work without involving their children in the task
  • Farmers must develop alternative livelihood
  • Tobacco growing areas must have more schools for education
  • Parents must send their kids to school and must consider primary education compulsory.

Why People Relapse to Tobacco and What One Must Do?

The cause of relapse is often because people are again exposed to things, certain people, emotions or places that affect people who are recovering from any substance abuse. This kind of exposure inevitably triggers intense craving and make them relapse to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. As a matter of fact, most people experience relapse while recovering but that doesn’t mean they cannot fight back. Naturally, staying sober asks for time, commitment and practice, and relapsing does not indicate that the treatment is failing.

One must also know the difference between a relapse and a small slip. If you have slipped once, then one must have the control to not let it turn into relapse.

Factors leading to relapse

Several external or internal factors influence the act of going back to tobacco

  • Fatigue

Mental or physical exhaustion leads to this, which affects daily tasks. So, psychological and physical urges can bog you down in taking the substance you’ve been avoiding.

  • Depression

Thoughts that are depressive causes people to lose their hobby, oversleep, and lack of focus. While recovering, if someone goes through this then they might succumb to the relief given by tobacco.

  • Dishonesty

People who are recovering become dishonest with their feelings such as resentment and anger. This leads them to make excuses if the task remains unaccomplished or getting easily frustrated by others. These feelings of duplicity and faithlessness take them back to tobacco use.

  • Self-pity

Many people often tend to get disappointed thinking they cannot any longer go back to fun places or parties and enjoy with friends. Thoughts like, “others are still doing it” makes them dwell on negative situations and feelings which turn out to be dangerous as that too lead to relapse.

  • Unemployment

Studies state that, even after the treatment, the chances of relapse increases among people who are unemployed. It is said to be more common among these groups. It is hence considered to be a huge risk factor when it comes to use of tobacco or any other drug.

How to handle it?

  1. Always focus on the brighter side – A small slip is not the end, but in fact, it serves as a stepping stone for reinforcement and growth and concentration on certain skills that should be worked on. Relapse often leads to deeper commitment.
  2. Talk to loved ones – This might feel tricky, as human interactions and confrontations scare many, but nevertheless it is important. Their support is a big stepping stone as you intend to keep your promises intact made with them.
  3. Brace yourself – Take control of your feelings of humiliation, guilt or shame as it increases tenfold after relapse, take them as your motivation and don’t hide away from it. Just believe that IT IS OKAY!
  4. Don’t get stuck in the revolving pattern – Many people turn it into a cycle of falling back and getting out without realising that it takes a toll on their health and self-esteem. This makes it difficult to become sober for good, so avoid getting trapped.

Important Information On Tobacco Curing

Drying the tobacco is known to be called curing, and after harvesting of leaves is done, this act is performed. The character and quality of tobacco leaves is defined by this process. In order to get out the best characteristics of tobacco, curing should be controlled and done carefully.

There are three kinds of tobacco grown and they are; burley, Virginia and oriental. Countries like Brazil, Greece, Malawi, Argentina, China, Spain, Tanzania, United States and Turkey grow this tobacco.

  • Flue cured or Virginia tobacco

It is also called to be ‘bright tobacco’ due to its deep-orange and golden-yellow colour it turns to during curing. It is cured for almost a week in high temperature barns, giving bright, light taste and aroma. Places like Argentina, India, Tanzania and United States grow Virginia tobacco.

  • Burley tobacco

This is brownish in its texture and is air cured for around 2 months. When this is done natural sugar of burley is lost and with time it starts developing cigar-like strong taste. Brazil, Argentina, Malawi, United States grow it.

  • Oriental tobacco

They are highly aromatic. Oriental tobacco’s little leaves are individually harvested and are sun-cured with open air. Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia largely grow these kinds.

Each kind of tobacco is cured in a different manner, Virginia requires flue curing, Burley requires air curing and oriental requires sun curing.

These different types of tobacco also need different blends and these blends are of two kinds which contribute to the global cigarette market.

  • Blended cigarettes

These cigarettes use all the 3 types of tobacco, Virginia, oriental and burley. Certain ingredients are mixed to it in order to replace sugar while curing and which supply distinctive aroma and flavour for different cigarette brand. These blended cigarettes highly dominate United States, Asian markets, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The brands that are popular for blended tobacco are Marlboro, chesterfield, Philip Morris and L&M.

  • Virginia cigarettes

Made with Virginia tobacco, these kinds are very popular in United Kingdom, along with formerly ruled British colonies like Canada, India, Nigeria, Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, China, South Africa and more. Virginia brands involve Peter Jackson, Number 7, PMI’s Longbeach.

Process

  • Tobacco growth

The process of tobacco growing has not gone through much significant changes besides the addition of technology, to make it more efficient, the larger part of the process still remains the same. The suppliers have to follow the (GAP), that is, Good Agricultural Practices, which basically covers the complete process of tobacco growing, from crops planning, selecting right site and appropriate type of soil and fertility as well as land preparation so that the buyers are assured that it has been grown on the best foundation.

  • Crop cultivation

Cultivation is the 1st process, where tobacco seeds have to be sown in seedbeds, and right seeds should be planted to yield good quality results. They germinate quickly within 10 days.

  • Harvesting

After cultivation, leaves have to be harvested in a precise manner and checked if they are yet prime or in a mature condition.

  • Stabilizing and grading

After curing takes place, the tobacco is sorted according to their quality and stalks position, and is also packed separately for delivery. After the purchasing, it is transferred to local factory for processing where they check its uniformity. After completion of the drying process, it is pressed and packed into cases for sale.

Misconceptions About Vaping

Vaping market has suffered a lot in the last couple of years. The impious claims from the mainstream media have been a significant influence here. Below are the most significant and most prevalent misconceptions we hear every day, which have been unmasked:

Active ingredients threaten

The most typical of all misconceptions about vape is that e-liquids are unsafe and the components are hazardous for you. Let me discuss the active ingredients in e-liquids utilized in vapes, so it brings about a sense of relief for all. Depending on what you vape, there are about 3-4 active ingredients used- propylene glycol, veggie glycerin, synthetic or natural food grade flavoring and nicotine, which is optional.

Nicotine material

You can continuously personalize e-liquids according to the level of nicotine you desire in the vape juice, which can differ from absolutely no to any level up to 2.4%. Research studies are not able to effectively connect the cause of cancer to the nicotine material in cigarettes.

The addiction of Vaping

E-cigarettes do not provide nicotine as effectively as conventional cigarettes and tobacco smoke, making the previous less addicting but still it is very harmful as it contains nicotine. When it comes to the non-smokers, the e-cigarettes are indicated to cater to those who wish to stop smoking cigarettes instead of the marketing it to the non-smokers or young teens but this is all false as both e-cigarette and regular cigarettes are injurious to health and highly addictive.

Laws concerning Vaping items

State and federal companies, consisting of the FDA, have been keeping a close search the technique of production, quality, sale, age limitations, and more. Comprehensive screening is done on the e-liquids to make sure that poor quality items do not get in the marketplace.

It’s merely water

The misconception is that vaping has anything to do with a vapor but it does not. It’s an aerosol. The word “aerosol” has a lot of unfavorable undertones. You likely will not see it in marketing for vape cigarettes. Vapor’ has a lot of favorable undertones, consisting of that its water vapor you’re breathing in”.

A vapor types when a liquid is turned into a gas. This is why you can see what’s being launched from a vape cigarette.

Vaping has no health threats

Vape cigarettes have their distinct perspective on health threats.

There are organs in the body that are unsusceptible to the impacts of cigarette smoke and it can be hurt by e-cigarette aerosol too.

For instance, e-cigarette aerosol consists of propylene glycol. The liver metabolizes this into propionaldehyde, which is associated with formaldehyde, when propionaldehyde collects in the body, it increases the capacity for liver damage.”

This chemical also collects in the retina, so there’s the capacity for retinal damage and loss of sight too.