The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the level of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. The FDA is considering a complete ban of nicotine use in cigarettes by the year 2009.
Tobacco as a crop in the US represents less than 2 percent of farm income. It provides for most growers an income after costs that is below the poverty level. Banning tobacco would have little agricultural effect. The value in tobacco production is with the middle men, the tobacco companies, retailers, wholesalers, vending machine operators and federal and state governments. Thus a tobacco crop value of US $3 billion per year becomes $46 billion after the middle men have added their part. Of this amount, taxes take $13 billion and over $2 billion is spent on advertising and media.
Prohibition of a product worth US $46 billion, used by one quarter of Americans, grown on 124,000 farms in the USA, and contributing $13 billion in excise taxes would create numerous economic and law-enforcement problems. Banning all tobacco use would not appear to be feasible.
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.