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Effective Anti-Tobacco Measures Cover 2.3B People Worldwide, WHO Report Shows

“A new WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2013 shows hundreds of millions of non-smokers are less likely to start smoking because of national anti-tobacco campaigns that are reaching three billion people worldwide,” VOA News reports (Schlein, 7/10). “Anti-smoking measures including complete bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship across the world have benefited nearly 700 million people since 2007,” according to the report, which “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,” Xinhua writes (7/10). The Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded report “shows that 2.3 billion people are covered by at least one effective tobacco control measure, an increase from the one billion covered in 2008,” a Bloomberg Philanthropies press release states.

“While progress is being made, the report also shows that two-thirds of the world is not yet protected by a single MPOWER [Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies; Protecting people from tobacco smoke with smoke-free air legislation; Offering help to quit tobacco use; Warning about the dangers of tobacco with pack labels and mass media, Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and Raising taxes on tobacco] policy, indicating that there is more work to be done to save millions more lives,” the press release notes (7/10). According to a WHO press release, “the report notes to achieve the globally agreed target of a 30 percent reduction of tobacco use by 2025, more countries have to implement comprehensive tobacco control programs.” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, “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,” the press release notes (7/10).