Beijing's municipal legislature has passed a smoking ban for all indoor public places and offices, amid China's planned consultations for implementing such restrictions nationwide, state media reported. The new regulation, which comes into force next June, also bans tobacco advertising outdoors, on public transport and on nearly every form of media - including magazines, radio, television, films, newspapers and books, Xinhua reported. The move comes despite the failure of past attempts to limit places where the country’s 300 million smokers can light up. The new rule passed by legislature consolidated a decree government issued in 2008 that also extended the ban on smoking in open-air spaces including kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, women and children’s hospitals, sports venues, and cultural relic protection cites. Individuals found violating the regulations will be fined between 50 yuan (HK$63) and 200 yuan depending on the number of offences, according to the new regulation. The new rule will affect approximately 4 million smokers in Beijing, a city with a population of some 20 million. Earlier, a draft version of the regulations sought to incorporate all parks and universities as part of the ban, but they were later dropped from the final version. A deputy director of the city’s legislature was cited saying that the statute was both unnecessary and unrealistic considering the vast areas that would come under scrutiny. The city-wide ban passed following China’s first proposed nationwide smoking ban in public spaces, the Ordinance on Restricting Smoking in Public Spaces, released for public consultation on Monday. It would be a big step towards honouring an international commitment to reduce tobacco use if implemented. Tobacco kills more than 1 million people a year in China, according to a study by Ministry of Health in 2012. Chinese and foreign experts cited in the study estimated the number of smoking deaths could triple by 2050. Experts point to the state monopoly on the tobacco industry, which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of national tax revenue, as one of the biggest obstacles to anti-smoking efforts. The World Health Organisation applauded the move, saying it paved the way for strict anti-smoking legislation at the national level. “We are thrilled to see the Beijing 100 per cent 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.” But that optimism may be premature in the face of past attempts to limit the behaviour of tobacco-hooked China where some brands can be purchased for as little as 3 yuan per packet. Guidelines that the Ministry of Health published in 2011 banned smoking in “indoor public spaces”, but were criticised as too vague and lacked enforcement. Most bars, clubs, and many restaurants have continued to allow patrons to light up at will, given the fact that offering a cigarette is a common greeting among many Chinese men.