Evidence of the causal role of marketing in the tobacco epidemic and the advent of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have inspired more than half the countries in the world to ban some forms of tobacco marketing. This paper briefly describes the ways in which cigarette marketing is restricted and the tobacco industry's efforts to subvert restrictions. It reviews what is known about the impact of marketing regulations on smoking by adults and adolescents. It also addresses what little is known about the impact of marketing bans in relation to concurrent population-level interventions, such as price controls, anti-tobacco media campaigns and smoke-free laws. Point of sale is the least regulated channel and research is needed to address the immediate and long-term consequences of policies to ban retail advertising and pack displays. Comprehensive marketing restrictions require a global ban on all forms of promotion, elimination of packaging and price as marketing tools, and limitations on the quantity, type and location of tobacco retailers.