Green tobacco sickness: An understudied disease among tobacco harvesters
Kumara Raja 1  
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Tagore Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India
Kumara Raja   

Tagore Dental College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, Melakkottaiyur Post, Near Vandalur, Chennai- 600127, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A40
Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS) is a type of nicotine poisoning caused by the transdermal absorption of nicotine from the surface of wet tobacco plants. Tobacco harvesters, whose clothing becomes saturated from tobacco wet with rain or morning dew, are at high risk of developing GTS. The condition is prevalent in Asian and South American tobacco harvesters. Worldwide there are an estimated 33 million tobacco farm workers, with a substantial proportion living in developing countries.

The purpose of this study was to systematically review existing literature on the prevalence of green tobacco sickness and to identify the studies that examined green tobacco sickness among tobacco harvesters.

Boolean search was performed with following keywords to extract articles which were published from 2000 to 2018. Records were retrieved from the various databases such as PubMed, PubMed Central, Cochrane Library, Embase, and Google Scholar.

A total of 68 studies were examined for inclusion criteria and finally 7 articles were analyzed for review with a total population of 1168 tobacco harvesters. The prevalence of green tobacco sickness among tobacco harvesters ranged from 0.082% to 56.9%.

This review shows transdermal nicotine absorption was frequent cause of GTS among tobacco harvesters and these findings emphasizes an urgent need for formulating strict tobacco control policies for tobacco harvesters.