Green tobacco sickness in tobacco harvesters--Kentucky, 1992

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1993 Apr 9;42(13):237-40.


Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an illness resulting from dermal exposure to dissolved nicotine from wet tobacco leaves; it is characterized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dizziness and sometimes fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate (1-3). On September 14, 1992, the Occupational Health Nurses in Agricultural Communities (OHNAC) project of Kentucky* received reports of 27 cases of GTS. The cases occurred among tobacco harvesters who had sought treatment in several hospital emergency departments in south-central Kentucky during the preceding 2 weeks. This report summarizes the findings of the investigation of these cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Emergencies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / poisoning*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Poisoning / physiopathology
  • Skin Absorption
  • Tobacco*


  • Nicotine