TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - The trend to reduce smoking and cancer rates by forcing tobacco companies to use plain packaging is gaining momentum across the globe, concludes an international report released today by the Canadian Cancer Society. The report shows that 4 countries have plain packaging laws in place and 14 others are working on it. Plain packaging requirements prevent tobacco companies from using colours, logos and design elements to market their cancer-causing products. The shape of the package must be in a standardized format, outlawing sales tactics such as slim packs appealing to girls and young women. Health warnings still appear on plain packages. "Plain packaging is a global trend and it is coming to Canada, too," says Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. "We must continue to show leadership in the fight against the marketing of tobacco." In 2001 Canada was the first country in the world to implement graphic picture warnings on cigarette packages. Since then, more than 100 countries and territories (105 in total) have followed Canada's lead - accounting for 58% of the world's population - as illustrated in this graph. Canada's leadership in graphic picture warnings has resulted in enormous health benefits globally. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, including about 30% of all cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer cases. Tobacco kills 37,000 Canadians every year. Tobacco packaging is one of the last and most effective ways for companies to promote their products, with eye-catching logos and colours designed to appeal to consumers. Plain packaging reduces tobacco use by eliminating promotion on packaging, reducing product appeal, curbing package deception, and increasing the impact of health warnings. Research shows that plain packaging works.