Green Tobacco Sickness

Our tobacco companies work to better educate and inform growers about Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS).
When working in tobacco fields, it’s possible for farmers and their workers to come in contact with wet tobacco. If not properly protected, wet tobacco can make someone sick if the nicotine in the tobacco plant is absorbed through the skin. We’re working with growers on growing and harvesting tobacco safely, in compliance with all laws and regulations. We’ve taken additional steps to prevent GTS by:

  • distributing training materials to tobacco growers so they can educate their workers on preventing GTS;
  • endorsing the U.S. Tobacco GA​P Handbo​ok​ – which is distributed annually to contracted domestic growers – including specific GTS protocols;​
  • communicating GTS protocols through grower newsletters, GAP and grower meetings;
  • requiring through our tobacco companies' contracts that growers implement the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's recommended practices for GTS prevention and provide worker training on how to avoid GTS and heat stress; and
  • implementing procedures to assess their adherence to these protocols.​
For tobacco produced by growers overseas, we work with tobacco suppliers to promote and maintain Good Agricultural Practices​ among growers. This includes crop management, environmental management, labor management, and where applicable, GTS protocols.