SHANGHAI, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- World Health Organization (WHO) chief Margaret Chan on Tuesday hailed China's ever-strengthening anti-tobacco efforts, saying she expects to see more progress in the right direction.
"China has done well" tightening tobacco control, the WHO director-general said on the sidelines of the Ninth Global Conference on Health Promotion (GCHP) in Shanghai, which began Monday.
At least 16 Chinese cities have passed tobacco control rules. Shanghai, a leader of the campaign, is set to ban smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport from March 2017.
Chan believes China "is moving at the right direction, doing well, but needs to do more."
She encouraged mayors to introduce regulatory or fiscal measures, such as increased taxes, a ban on tobacco adverts on television and in print media, and the cease of tobacco sponsorship in sports events.
Tobacco kills six million people every year, Chan said, quoting WHO figures. "These are avoidable deaths. It's a tragedy that we don't prevent smoking from causing death and devastation on health."
During the four-day long GCHP, more than 100 mayors from cities across the globe pledged to integrate health in their key policies.
Chan, meanwhile, lauded the Chinese leadership's call for full protection of the people's health, which stressed that public health should be given priority in the country's development strategy.