PITT COUNTY -

The Pitt County Health Department has issued a proposal that would ban the use of all tobacco products at parks in the county.

If the proposal is approved, lighting up might be a thing of the past at the 42 parks and trails in Pitt County.

"These smoking rules and regulations have gone into place all around the country, so we're really behind other counties and municipalities," said Health Department Director Dr. John Morrow.

The proposal, which is only a draft, would prohibit the use of cigarettes and all tobacco products at Pitt County park grounds and buildings. This means products like e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff would be banned too.

"I don't think we want our children learning bad habits while they're in the park while they should be learning to play with each other," said Dr. Morrow.

But some parkgoers called the ban unnecessary.

"I would say it was a bad idea. I don't think we need to force people to do things that would be beneficial to their health," said Jimmie Mills who uses parks every other day.

The rule would be self-enforced, meaning county officials would depend on parkgoers to tell each other to stop smoking. The proposal will go before the Pitt County Board of Commissioners in August.