GENEVA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Anti-smoking measures including complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship across the world have benefited nearly 700 million people since 2007, a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday said.
The report showed that up to date 24 countries have introduced complete bans and 100 more countries are close to a complete ban, but 67 countries currently do not ban any tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship activities or have a ban that excludes advertising in national broadcast and print media.
"If we do not close ranks and ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, adolescents and young adults will continue to be lured into tobacco consumption by an ever-more aggressive tobacco industry," said Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO in a written statement.
The report called for further efforts into enforcing a complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, having appealed to implement government intervention through well-drafted and well-enforced legislation.
The report also advocated that international and cross-border bans be enforced and legislation be updated to address new products and industry tactics, stressing the importance of coordination of government ministries, non-governmental and civil society organizations.
Moreover, this year's report noted that more than 2.3 billion people across the world, equal to a third of the world's population, are protected by at least one of by at least one life-saving measure, an increase of nearly 1.3 billion people since 2007.
The report also pointed out that more countries have to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs so as to achieve the globally agreed target of a 30 percent reduction of tobacco use by 2025.
Statistics from WHO showed that tobacco, causing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, was the leading cause of preventable death and killed 6 million people every year, and if the trends continue, the number of deaths attributed to tobacco smoking is projected to rise to 8 million a year by 2030.