Smokers in the China's capital city will have to step outdoors to light up under a plan by Beijing officials to ban smoking in all the city's indoor public spaces, on public transport and in the workplace.

The plan will also severely limit cigarette advertising anywhere outdoors, or on public transport, and in almost all media including magazines and newspaper and on film, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Tobacco promotions are also banned, as are sponsorship of events by tobacco companies.

The rules, adopted by the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress and set to go into affect in June 2015, will be limited to Beijing at first, but could eventually be in force across the country of 1.3 billion people, of whom an estimated 300 million are smokers.

Tobacco is blamed in more than a millions deaths annually in China, where some cigarette cost as little as $0.49, and experts both in China and around the world say that number may triple by 2030.

While Chinese tobacco products intended for export carry health warnings on their packaging, domestic products seldom do despite continuing calls for them by anti-smoking advocates.

Previous anti-smoking efforts have had to face a hurdle inherent in the fact that the country's tobacco industry is a state-run monopoly and that almost a tenth of all national tax revenue comes from sales of tobacco.

Failure of a previous measure in 2011 intended to reduce smoking in the tobacco-addicted country was blamed on vague language and lack of enforcement.

The World Health Organization has lauded the latest effort.

"We are thrilled to see the Beijing 100 percent smoke-free law pass, with no loopholes and no exemptions," said Bernhard Schwartlander, the WHO Representative in China. "China is poised to take a quantum leap forward on tobacco control."

People found smoking in the newly-designated non-smoking areas will face fines of 200 yuan, about $32.

Chinese smokers have long been accustomed to lighting up at will in a country where giving cigarettes as a gift is a long-time tradition, and the offering of a cigarette is a common greeting among Chinese men.

Chinese routinely smoke in elevators, on buses or even in hospital waiting rooms.

China is the world's largest tobacco producer and also its largest consumer.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.