"Group Urges Tobacco Companies To Protect U.S. Child Workers"

"U.S. children working in domestic tobacco fields regularly suffer from breathing problems, nausea and other ailments, an international rights group said in a report on Wednesday, urging the industry to develop tougher protections for its youngest workers.

Human Right Watch, which documented working conditions for children in four U.S. states, said it found many children on tobacco farms were in direct contact with the plant's leaves, leading to serious ailments consistent with nicotine poisoning.

'I didn’t feel well, but I still kept working. I started throwing up,' said one 16-year-old worker, who worked pulling tops off of tobacco plants to help increase yields, according to Human Rights Watch, which interviewed 141 youths aged 7 to 17 working on tobacco farms in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia."

Susan Heavey reports for Reuters May 14, 2014.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014