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2 "Green tobacco sickness"
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Airborne Nicotine Concentrations in the Workplaces of Tobacco Farmers
Seok-Ju Yoo, Sung-Jun Park, Byoung-Seok Kim, Kwan Lee, Hyun-Sul Lim, Jik-Su Kim, In-Shik Kim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2014;47(3):144-149.   Published online May 30, 2014
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  • 122 Download
  • 13 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF

Nicotine is a natural alkaloid and insecticide in tobacco leaves. Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is known as a disease of acute nicotine intoxication among tobacco farmers. Until now, GTS has been recognized globally as a disease that results from nicotine absorption through the skin. However, we assumed that GTS might also result from nicotine inhalation as well as absorption. We aimed to measure the airborne nicotine concentrations in various work environments of Korean tobacco farmers.


We measured the nicotine concentrations in the tobacco fields, private curing barns, and joint curing barns of farmers from July to October 2010. All sampling and analyses of airborne nicotine were conducted according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health manual of analytic methods.


The airborne nicotine concentrations (geometric mean [geometric standard deviation]) in the tobacco field were 83.4 mg/m3 (1.2) in the upper region and 93.3 mg/m3 (1.2) in the lower region. In addition, the nicotine concentration by personal sampling was 150.1 mg/m3. Similarly, the nicotine concentrations in the private curing barn, workers in curing barns, the front yard of the curing barn, and in the joint curing barn were 323.7 mg/m3 (2.0), 121.0 mg/m3 (1.5), 73.7 mg/m3 (1.7), and 610.3 mg/m3 (1.0), respectively.


The nicotine concentration in the workplaces of tobacco farmers was very high. Future studies should measure the environmental concentration of nicotine that is inhaled by tobacco farmers.



Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Perspectives of push-pull-mooring effects on a desire for switching to alternative crops among tobacco farmers in Thailand: A qualitative study
    Chakkraphan Phetphum, Artittaya Wangwonsin, Atchara Prajongjeep, Saksin Simsin
    Tobacco Induced Diseases.2024; 22(January): 1.     CrossRef
  • Nicotine exposure from packaged cigarettes in tobacco retail settings
    Myung-Bae Park, Jimi Huh, Byung Lyul Woo
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence.2024; 258: 111271.     CrossRef
  • Obstructive Lung Disease Linked to Occupational Exposures in Malawian Tobacco Farmers
    Yotam M Moyo, Mohamed F Jeebhay, Roslynn Baatjies, Sufia Dadabhai, Shahieda Adams
    Journal of Agromedicine.2023; 28(4): 867.     CrossRef
  • Deteriorating Quality of Life and a Desire to Stop Growing Tobacco Among Virginia and Burley Tobacco Farmers in Thailand
    Chakkraphan Phetphum, Atchara Prajongjeep, Orawan Keeratisiroj, Saksin Simsin, Kanyarat Thawatchaijareonying
    JCO Global Oncology.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
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    Maitê Peres de Carvalho, Nadia Spada Fiori, Rodrigo Dalke Meucci, Neice Muller Xavier Faria, Anaclaudia Gastal Fassa
    Revista Brasileira de Saúde Ocupacional.2020;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Dolor cervical entre agricultores que producen tabaco en el sur de Brasil
    Anaclaudia Gastal Fassa, Nadia Spada Fiori, Rodrigo Dalke Meucci, Neice Müller Xavier Faria, Maitê Peres de Carvalho
    Salud Colectiva.2020; 16: e2307.     CrossRef
  • Green tobacco sickness: mecamylamine, varenicline, and nicotine vaccine as clinical research tools and potential therapeutics
    Lance R. McMahon
    Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology.2019; 12(3): 189.     CrossRef
  • Molecular mechanisms for nicotine intoxication
    Tursun Alkam, Toshitaka Nabeshima
    Neurochemistry International.2019; 125: 117.     CrossRef
  • Intelligent Control of Bulk Tobacco Curing Schedule Using LS-SVM- and ANFIS-Based Multi-Sensor Data Fusion Approaches
    Juan Wu, Simon X. Yang
    Sensors.2019; 19(8): 1778.     CrossRef
  • Socio-environmental risks associated with the green tobacco sickness in farmers: a case-control study
    Marcia Casaril dos Santos Cargnin, Marta Regina Cezar-Vaz, Caroline Ottobelli Getelina, Clarice Alves Bonow
    Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem.2019; 72(6): 1670.     CrossRef
  • Uso de biomarcador cotinina em trabalhadores para detecção da doença da folha verde do tabaco
    Marta Regina Cezar-Vaz, Marcia Casaril dos Santos Cargnin
    Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem.2019;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • How to prevent and manage green tobacco sickness?
    Dilaram Acharya, Kwan Lee
    Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.2018; 22(2): 115.     CrossRef
    Marcia Casaril dos Santos Cargnin, Carolina de Castilhos Teixeira, Vanessa Monteiro Mantovani, Amália de Fátima Lucena, Isabel Cristina Echer
    Texto & Contexto - Enfermagem.2016;[Epub]     CrossRef
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Green Tobacco Sickness among Korean Tobacco Harvesters.
Hyun Sul Lim, Kwan Lee, Si Hyun Nam
J Prev Med Public Health. 2004;37(1):37-43.
  • 2,261 View
  • 89 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
This study was carried out to understand the prevalence and risk factors of green tobacco sickness (GTS) among Korean tobacco harvesters. METHODS: The authors conducted a questionnaire among the tobacco harvesters (1, 064 persons from 555 out of 723 tobacco harvesting households) in Cheongsong-gun for 4 days from May 7 to 10, 2002. RESULTS: The study subjects were 550 males and 514 females. The recognition and experience of GTS up until 2001 were 96.4% and 61.9%, respectively. The prevalence of GTS in 2001 was 42.5%, and was significantly higher in females than in males (59.0% vs. 26.6%, p< 0.01). The incidence density of GTS according to the number of workdays in 2001 was 12.3 spells/100 person' days. The GTS symptoms reported by the tobacco harvesters in 2001 were dizziness in 441 cases (97.6%), nausea in 414 (91.6%), headache in 349 (77.2%) and vomiting in 343 (75.9%). The use of gloves, hat and wristlets, sweating at work and the number of working hours significantly increased the prevalence of GTS (p< 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors significantly associated with GTS. Odds ratios for smoking, working over 10 hours and sweating at work were 0.26 (95% CI: 0.19-0.35), 1.64 (95% CI: 1.26-2.14) and 1.60 (95% CI: 1.14-2.25), respectively. Of those who reported GTS in 2001, 311 cases (68.8%) underwent treatment from their local medical facilities. CONCLUSION: In Korea, there are many tobaccoharvesting households, and most may be stricken with GTS. More extensive epidemiological studies, including heincidence and associated risk factors, are expected and a surveillance system including measurements of cotinine in urine should be conducted.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health