SHANGHAI - Shanghai began on Monday implementing a regulation to ban smoking in 12 types of public places amid efforts to achieve a smoke-free World Expo.
The regulation bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals, sport stadiums, public transport vehicles and Internet cafes to prevent widespread passive smoking.
The smoking bans in public places would safeguard citizens' health and also promote the city's image, said Li Zhongyang, deputy head of the Shanghai Health Promotion Committee.
Last July, Shanghai turned down a 200-million-yuan ($29.3 million) sponsorship deal for the 2010 World Expo from a tobacco company.
Hangzhou, capital of Shanghai's neighboring province of Zhejiang, also implemented a similar regulation Monday to ban smoking in 10 types of public places.
The regulation also clearly stated that indoor smoking is banned in conference rooms, offices, hospitals and schools.
Any individual or agency would face a fine of between 50 yuan and 2,000 yuan if they violated the regulation.
China has more than 300 million smokers, the world's largest, with more than two trillion cigarettes sold in the country every year. More than 500 million people are exposed to passive smoking, mostly at home, in public places and offices.