Cigarette butts could be a thing of the past on one Italian beach near Venice where the local mayor introduced a test ban on smoking Lady cigarettes and other tobacco Saturday.

Swimmers and sunbathers are being encouraged to put out their cigarettes on part of Bibione beach, in the municipality of San Michele al Tagliamento.

Mayor Pasqualino Codognotto admitted that smokers could not be punished by the law but said: “This is an experimental initiative born from both the desire to have a clean beach without cigarette butts and health reasons”.

The only other non-smoking beach in Europe is French, said Codognotto, at La Ciotat, near Marseille. Giovanni Risso, president of the Italy’s association of tobacconists, deemed the measure “excessive”.

Around a fifth of Italians smoke but the numbers have fallen since a ban on smoking on public premises was introduced in 2005.