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Global Tobacco
 

Global Tobacco

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  • Tobacco industry documents and interviews provide a chilling picture of what they are really about - the bottom line $$$$$$$$$$$$. “ The average life expectancy here is about 40 years, infant mortality is high: the health problems which some say are caused by cigarettes just won’t figure as a problem here.” This could translate as – “They die young anyways, so it doesn’t matter if we sell poison to them.”
  • And in Myanmar among the lowest income families we find these startling statistics. This involved 1/3 of all families at this income level in Myanmar. Family expenditure on food - 60.02% of their income. Family expenditure on all tobacco products - 30.51% of their income. Tobacco consumes 13.4 times more of their income than education. Tobacco consumes 34.6 times more of their income than health care.
  • In Vietnam a carton of Marlboro could be a third of someone's monthly salary. However, the Marlboro man has become the symbol of luxury in Vietnam. Offer an American cigarette and people will talk to you. An average Vietnamese makes about $300 dollars a year. He spends about $40 dollars yearly on cigarettes. If it doesn't kill him, smoking puts him in the poorhouse. -- “In Vietnam, Smoking, Not Avian Flu Is Biggest Killer” Pacific News Service, Commentary Andrew Lam, Mar 09, 2005
  • In Algeria, a pack of Marlboros costs the same as 10 litres of milk.
  • These are The Real Faces of Tobacco Farming The children of Nigerian tobacco farmers grow up exposed to harsh working conditions, poisons and poverty.
  • THOSE WHO ARE TOO YOUNG TO WEED ARE GIVEN OTHER WORK TO DO, LIKE FETCHING WATER FROM THE STREAM HALF A MILE AWAY.
  • THE EARLY SEASON OF TOBACCO FARMING IS THE MOST CRITICAL. THESES CHILDREN MUST CONTINUOUSLY WEED THE YOUNG TOBACCO PLANTS.
  • While child labor is discouraged or even illegal in many areas - the reality is that the majority of this labor takes place on small family farms that cannot be easily regulated. Tobacco farming in most countries is not very profitable (for the farmers). This requires everyone from the youngest to the oldest to work just to survive. In one area of Malawi in In Malawi in Africa 78% of children between 10-14 years old work either full-time or part-time with their parents on the tobacco farms. When the family doesn’t own a farm they are often employed as tenant farmers and are responsible for fulfilling a quota. The owner doesn’t care how the work gets done as long as the quotas are met. So, the whole family works. Photos by Marty Otanez
  • In the Sinaloa Valleys of Mexico 200,000 indigenous migrant workers harvest tobacco each year. 50,000 of them are children between the ages of 5-14. The young children are especially useful in cutting and bundling the tobacco leaves. This puts them at greater risk of absorbing the many pesticides present on the tobacco leaves through their skin. Some also develop “green Tobacco Sickness” From the large amounts of nicotine absorbed from the moist leaves.
  • Children of tobacco farmers in Mexico. Suffering from the effects of toxic pesticides. From the Movie “Stolen Childhoods” by Galen Films 2003 [email_address]
  • In recent years Bidi’s (hand rolled Indian cigarettes) have been popular with College age youth. The majority of beedie cigarettes produced in India are still produced by hand. All too often this is by children as young as 7 or 8 in bonded labor. Even thought this practice has been illegal since 1976 in India, investigations have shown it is still commonplace. It happens when a family is forced to borrow money for an emergency. To pay of the debt, someone from the family must work it off. This can involve several years of tedious labor. Usually the only one that can be spared to do this work is a child.
  • Tobacco destroys childhood. Listen to Laksmi, a 9 year old cigarette roller from India as he tells about his family. “ My sister is ten years old. Every morning at seven she goes to the bonded labor man, and every night at nine she comes home. He treats her badly; he hits her if he thinks she is working slowly or if she talks to the other children, he yells at her, he comes looking for her if she is sick and cannot go to work. I feel this is very difficult for her. I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home from the bonded labor man. For 600 rupees ($17.20 US) I can bring her home - that is our only chance to get her back. We don’t have 600 rupees….. We will never have 600 rupees.
  • KOBE worked in bonded labor for several years. When he was younger he would sometimes run away to play. They would always catch him and beat him when they brought him back to work. To stop him from continuing to run away, they heated a large knife in the fire and pressed it against his leg to burn him. He said he never ran away again after that. Information from “60 Minutes” report on tobacco slaves in India 2000
  • Tobacco growing and mannufacturing also affects our environment. We will discuss a few of the ways such as Deforestation, Desertification, Soil Depletion, and Chemical Poisoning.
  • References: Geist, HJ. Global Assessment of deforestation related to tobacco farming. Tobacco Control, 1999, 8:18-28 Geist, HJ. How Tobacco Farming contributes to tropical deforestation. In: , Abedian et al eds. The Economics of Tobacco control: Toward an Optimal Policy Mix. Cape Town, Applied Fiscal Research Center, 1998
  • Young tobacco plants are very fragile. They also need a lot of water to survive. The young boys work to keep them watered. This wastes even more of their precious water resources.
  • References: Environmental Management in Tropical Agriculture. RJA Goodland, C. Watson, G. Ledec. Westview Press, 1984
  • Tobacco is a delicate plant that is prone to many diseases and pests. Some management guides call for as many as 16 applications of pesticides during the three month growing period that the plants are in the seedbeds.

Global Tobacco Global Tobacco Presentation Transcript

  • Tobacco and….. Poverty Human Rights The Environment
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  • Vietnam: Male smoking rate over 50% - Female 2% - Youth 21%
  • Male smoking rate 44% Female smoking rate 7%
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  • The Real Face of Tobacco Farming These children of Nigerian tobacco farmers grow up exposed to harsh working conditions, poisons and poverty.
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  • Child Labor
  • In the Sinaloa Valleys of Mexico 200,000 native migrant workers harvest tobacco each year. 50,000 of them are children between the ages of 5-14. The young children are especially useful in cutting and bundling the tobacco leaves. Contact: cap.at@mac.com (07/07 )
  • Working with the plants without protective clothing, the children absorb the poisons through their skin. Some also develop “Green Tobacco Sickness” which is caused by absorbing the nicotine from handling the damp plants
  • Children in India hand rolling cigarettes. Victims of bonded labor
  • Tobacco destroys childhood. Listen to Laksmi, a 9 year old cigarette roller from India as he tells about his family. “ My sister is ten years old. Every morning at seven she goes to the bonded labor man, and every night at nine she comes home. He treats her badly; he hits her if he thinks she is working slowly or if she talks to the other children, he yells at her, he comes looking for her if she is sick and cannot go to work. I feel this is very difficult for her. I don’t care about school or playing. I don’t care about any of that. All I want is to bring my sister home from the bonded labor man. For 600 rupees ($17.20 US) I can bring her home - that is our only chance to get her back. We don’t have 600 rupees….. We will never have 600 rupees.
  • This child in India labor was burned on the leg with a hot knife for running away from the bonded labor man.
  • Deforestation Desertification Soil Depletion Chemical Poisoning TOBACCO AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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  • Young tobacco plants need lots of water to survive. This consumes even more of one of the farmer’s most precious resources.
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  • Tobacco is a delicate plant that is prone to many diseases and pests. Some management guides call for as many as 16 applications of pesticides during the three-month growing period before the plants even leave the greenhouse or seed beds.
  • Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides poison farm workers (usually children in Africa), seep into the soil and pollute waterways and ecological systems, and poison livestock and food crops.
  • It’s Bigger Than Your Habit
    • The Tobacco Industry…
    • Exploits the Third World
    • Perpetuates the bonded labor of adults and children
    • Traps farmers in an unbreakable cycle of poverty
    • Causes environmental destruction
    • Uses deception to increase profits