Tobacco Ad Bans' Appeal is Spreading

WHO's latest report says 2.3 billion people worldwide are covered by a least one measure limiting tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

The World Health Organization's latest report on tobacco shows growth around in the world in the number of people living where at least one measure limiting tobacco promotion is in place. The current number is 2.3 billion, which means the bans' coverage has more than doubled during the past five years, according to the "Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2013." The report is focused on bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, which increased by almost 400 million people, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.

"Countries that introduced complete bans together with other tobacco control measures have been able to cut tobacco use significantly within only a few years," said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO's Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Department.

However, the report says more countries must implement comprehensive tobacco control programs if the globally agreed target of a 30 percent reduction of tobacco use by 2025 is to be achieved. "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," WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said. "Every country has the responsibility to protect its population from tobacco-related illness, disability, and death."

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