283,000 people have signed a petition calling for a smoking ban on all of Spain’s beaches.
Environment minister, Teresa Ribera, received the petition organised by the ‘No Fumadores’ group.
They want beach visitors to be protected from the effects of ‘passive’ smoking.
They are also worried about the environmental problems caused by cigarette and cigar butts being discarded at the seaside.
475 beaches have already got local smoking bans and this year all of the beaches in the Elche area of the Costa Blanca will stop people from lighting up.
‘No Fumadores’ president, Raquel Fernandez, said: “The thousands of people that have signed the petition sends out the message that we just cannot wait any longer”.
“A new law would stop children and people with respiratory diseases from inhaling smoke,” she added.
“It would also send out the strongest possible signal to youngsters that its wrong to smoke on beaches which are public spaces.”
A 2018 survey by the European Environment Agency showed that cigarette butts were the biggest source of pollution on beaches on the continent.
Besides the mess, the butts can kill marine life if swallowed.
Many municipalities have staged annual campaigns handing out ash trays and containers to collect fag ends to reduce the levels of beach debris.