Rowan County Commissioners vote to ban smoking, tobacco products in public parks

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The Rowan County Commissioners voted to ban smoking and the use of tobacco products in county-maintained public parks Monday night.

The elected leaders unanimously approved the new measure.

Greg Edds, chairman of the commissioners, said the smoking ban is something the county has been working on for a while.  He said a study group known as Healthy Rowan was established to look into the possibility of enforcing a ban.

Edds said visitors will now be prohibited from using tobacco produces, e-cigarettes and vaping products in county-run parks.

"They will be asked not to smoke or use tobacco products in the park. If they insist on doing it, they will be asked to leave the park," said Edds.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products are already forbidden in Salisbury's city parks.

Edds said it will probably be about a month before county employees remove old ash trays and put up new signage to inform visitors of the rule.

Opinions on the new rule vary based on who you ask. WBTV polled a few people at the Salisbury City Park Tuesday night.

"The spitting of the snuff and stuff like that, that may be a problem, but as far as the smoking I really don't see a problem with it," said Salisbury resident Glenn Harris.

Others think the ban is a good idea.

"If I wanna smoke a cigarette or chew my tobacco I can do it at home. I'm fine with that," said Salisbury resident Jacob Campbell.

Edds hopes the new rule contributes to a healthier community.

"It should clean up certainly our parks and our community and we'll certainly say to folks on the outside looking in that Rowan County wants to be a healthy community," said Edds.

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