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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ridding The MLB of Smokeless Tobacco

Professional sports players are looked-up to by adolescents, those who dream of one day following in the footsteps of those they see on television. It is for that reason that professional athletes are often held to higher standard than the average citizen.

Major League Baseball players have a long history of smokeless tobacco use, products like dip and chew are synonymous with the dugout. In fact, many pro-ball players began using smokeless tobacco in their early teens, and it stands to reason that kids who see their favorite ball players chewing are more likely to have interest in such products. Despite the fact that smokeless tobacco products are addictive and are well known to cause cancer, a large percentage of MLB players can be seen with dip tins in their back pocket.

Next January, a smokeless tobacco ban will go into effect at all professional sports parks in San Francisco, The New York Times reports. The ban will include AT&T Park, home of the Giants, where about one-third of the team uses smokeless tobacco.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, would like to rid the MLB of smokeless tobacco, according to the article. The group approached San Francisco lawmakers, including Mayor Edwin M. Lee. In May, Lee signed the ordinance which will ban smokeless tobacco from all public athletic fields in the city.

Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, expects at least six more cities with pro-ball teams will sign similar smokeless tobacco ordinance by the end of the year.

“It will turn into an inevitability,” Myers told the newspaper. “This is going to happen. The only question is, will it happen in enough cities so that baseball is tobacco-free by next year? Or will it take one more year?”

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