Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
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Dear Colleague:

I ask that you join me an original cosponsor of the Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco Farms Act.  This legislation would address the dangerous conditions faced by children working on tobacco farms, where they risk acute nicotine
poisoning from their contact with tobacco plants.

No one should have to work in conditions that make them sick, and certainly not children. Yet, current U.S. law allows children as young as 12 to work for hire in agriculture. According to

Human Rights Watch
, children working in tobacco fields may suffer from symptoms which include nausea, vomiting, headaches, or dizziness as a result of being in contact with tobacco plants.  Many children often work long hours, exposed to extreme heat and
toxic pesticides.  There are no special provisions in law or regulations that account for the unique risks of tobacco work for children, despite evidence that this work may be especially harmful to children, whose bodies and brains are still developing.

In response to widespread media attention, some big tobacco companies have adopted policies to limit their use of child labor. However, their policies exclude 16 and 17-year old children. These children are too young to legally buy a pack of cigarettes,
and are still highly vulnerable to nicotine and other toxins.

I invite you to become an original cosponsor of the Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco Farms Act, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to include in the definition of “particularly hazardous oppressive child labor” any employment
in which children under the age of 18 come into direct contact with tobacco plants or dried tobacco leaves. This bill would allow the Department of Labor to prohibit children from being hired to do this type of dangerous work and ensure government enforcement.

If you would like to be added as a cosponsor, or have additional questions, please contact Matt McGinn (



David N. Cicilline

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Family Issues, Labor

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