Officials of the world's top tobacco-consuming country have proposed restricting foreign cigarette imports and limiting the tar content of domestically produced cigarettes, the official China Daily said Thursday.

The proposals, made by the State Tobacco Sales Monopoly Bureau, were announced in the national legislature this week along with Ministry of Public Health plans to draft China's first anti-smoking law.The daily did not specify the possible scope of the law or when it might be completed. Some Chinese and foreign doctors estimate that if strong measures are not taken, 2 million Chinese will die annually of smoking-related causes by the year 2025.

According to the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, China has 250 million smokers, about a quarter of the population. It says 70 percent of Chinese suffer the ill effects of smoking if passive smokers are included.