Health and safety at work legislation requires that employers protect their staff from harmful substances in the workplace and take reasonable and practicable measures to secure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. The evidence clearly shows that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is harmful as it may cause a variety of fatal or less serious conditions in exposed non-smokers. 84% of people, including 69% of current smokers, believe that smoking should be restricted at work.
Since almost all of the epidemiological evidence about the health effects of secondhand smoke relates to long-term exposure in the home, the fact that this is the one place generally exempted from current and proposed smoking bans suggests a residual concern for property rights. Yet business owners have property rights, too. If governments respect their right to establish rules about smoking on their own property, potential employees and customers could take such policies into account when deciding where to work or which businesses to patronize. Whether secondhand smoke is a health hazard or merely a nuisance, such a voluntary system is the most appropriate way to deal with the conflicting demands of smokers and nonsmokers, since it allows for diversity and competition, rather than simply imposing the will of the majority on everyone.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.