London: Smoking bans are an effective way of preventing heart disease, getting cigarette users to quit and protecting children from second-hand smoke, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report issued on Sunday said.

The report by scientists at the WHO's International Agency for Cancer Research urged more countries to adopt smoking bans in public and at the workplace, saying there was enough evidence to prove they work, without hurting businesses such as restaurants and bars.

"Implementation of such policies can have a broader population effect of increasing smoke-free environments," the researchers wrote in the Lancet Oncology special report.

"Not only do these policies achieve their aim of protecting the health of non-smokers by decreasing exposure to second-hand smoke, they also have many effects on smoking behaviour, which compound the health benefits."

Many local and national governments have enacted varying types of smoking bans in recent years to protect people from second-hand smoke.