SARASOTA, Fla. - Cities and counties across Florida will now have the chance to ban smoking at the beach.
Pesky cigarette butts can be bad for the environment and animals. Senator Joe Gruters fought for the bill that allows cities and counties to ban them if they want.
"It's not only the littering, which is number one item found in these beach clean up days, but it’s the second hand smoke that families have to experience," Gruters said.
They can also take away points from Dr. Beach's, also known as Dr. Stephen Leatherman, scoreboard as he looks for the top beaches every year.
"I started thinking, where’s Florida. Hawaii has sort of been beating out beaches can that be right?" Dr. Beach said Friday morning on Lido beach.
Hawaii's beaches are already cigarette free.
"I'm hoping I see Sarasota is stepping up first, but I’m hoping many other Florida communities and areas will make their beaches no smoking," said Dr. Beach.
Many other beach communities around Florida are expected to follow Sarasota's lead. The city commission will discuss the ban on Tuesday, during their next city commission meeting.
"There's nothing more disgusting than when you put your hand in the sand, and you pull it out, and you feel that cigarette butt," said Gruters.