The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) of China passed an order on Tuesday to restrict smoking scenes in movies and TV shows.
The measure was taken to honor the tobacco control commitment issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
China has been a part of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) since five years but has failed to implement the requirements of the convention. This includes failure to ban indoor smoking thereby allowing free smoking in restaurants, offices and closed buildings.
However, recently the country has been issuing strict restrictions on smoking, curbing any form of tobacco sponsorships and advertisements.
Although there has been growing awareness of health risks from tobacco smoking in the country, overall consumption rate has not declined for the past decade. China leads the world in tobacco and cigarette consumption, and every year around 1 million people in the country die due to its heavy use.
A joint report issued by Chinese and foreign medical experts last month states that mortality rates in the country are fast rising and if the trend continues, an estimated 3.5 million Chinese will die every year from smoking by 2030.
The order by SARFT states that scenes and plot lines involving smoking should be reduced. It also states that any scenes featuring juveniles should be banned.