London, August 25 (ANI): Thousands of kids in Malawi are taking in 50 cigarettes worth of nicotine a day due to their employment as child labourers on the country's tobacco fields, warns an organisation.
According to a study by Plan, the kids showed an array of nicotine poisoning symptoms, such as severe headaches, abdominal pain, muscle weakness and breathlessness.
California university medical professor Neal Benowitz explained nicotine poisoning, also called Green Tobacco Sickness, was more severe in youngsters due to their underdeveloped tolerance level against smoking as compared to adults.
"The brain of a child or adolescent is particularly vulnerable to long-lasting adverse neurobehavioral effects of nicotine exposure," Sky News quoted Benowitz as saying.
The report said: "Child labourers, some as young as five, are suffering severe physical symptoms from absorbing up to 54mg a day of dissolved nicotine through their skin - the equivalent of 50 average cigarettes."
Plan also revealed that some of the kids toiled up to 12 hours a day, without protective clothing and were paid less than the equivalent of 1p an hour.
The study further pointed towards a lack of research into the long-term effects of Green Tobacco Sickness in kids, but "experts believe that it could seriously impair their development". (ANI)