About 1.2 million Chinese a year die from tobacco-related diseases, Deputy Minister of Health Huang Jiefu said last month.
Noting that law enforcement is the biggest challenge, Ying said the proposal suggested recruiting volunteers and social groups to join the supervision work and offer financial rewards to people who performed outstanding work in the control of smoking.
The National Bureau of Statistics said China's tobacco sales revenue exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) in 2011.
Suo Chao, spokesman of the Chinese Association for Tobacco Control, said China's tobacco tax rate is the third-lowest in the world.
"The cigarette is a cheap consumption product in China, with the tobacco tax rate being 36 percent," Suo said. "The low tax rate is definitely one of the reasons for the popularity of cigarettes in the country."
However, Suo finds that banning cigarette sales for a day, though well-intended, is more symbolic than a vigorous measure to cut back the prevalence of tobacco.
"Some cities, including Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province, and Anshan, in Liaoning province, have a similar regulation," Suo said. "It's well-meant but hardly any effect can be shown from a one-day resolution."
After soliciting public comment, the municipal legislature will start drafting an amendment to the anti-smoking regulation based on Ying's proposal, but the exact time to start the work is still unknown.