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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 36-40

Green tobacco sickness among tobacco harvesters: A review of the literature

1 Public Health Dentistry, Tagore Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Director, K and K Multi Speciality Dental Clinic, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B Kumar Raja
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Tagore Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcd.ijcd_23_21

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Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an occupational illness that affects tobacco harvesters. It is a type of acute nicotine intoxication caused by nicotine absorption through the epidermis of a moist green tobacco plant. The purpose of this study was to systematically review the existing literature on the green tobacco sickness and its health impacts on tobacco harvesters. A standard literature search was performed using multiple electronic databases like PubMed, PubMed Central, Cochrane Library, Campbell systematic review Embase, Google Scholar and Scopus for studies published on green tobacco sickness from 2000 to 2020. A total of 11 studies with a total population of 6,253 were reviewed. The prevalence of green tobacco sickness among tobacco harvesters ranged from 6.6% to 56.9%. Exposure to Sunlight, use of pesticides, Stalk removal of tobacco leaves, gender of the farmer, smoking, skin rash, wearing a wet suit, process of curing tobacco leaves, and watering tobacco plants, task, topping, barning and working in wet clothing were some of the risk factors reported by authors. Green tobacco sickness was shown to be common in the study population, indicating that a significant regulatory effort is needed to address the potential dangers of GTS.

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