ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
It is time to take tobacco out of baseball for good – to set the right example for America’s kids and protect the health of the players. Players’ use of smokeless tobacco sets a terrible example for millions of impressionable youth. Our national pastime should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product.
For years, public health leaders have urged Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association to end smokeless tobacco use in baseball. The new collective bargaining agreement between owners and players reached on Nov. 30, 2016, prohibits all new MLB players from using smokeless tobacco – which means baseball is on a clear and inevitable path to become tobacco-free.
But MLB cities can make it happen sooner rather than later. To protect our kids, cities must act and prohibit all tobacco use at baseball venues across the country.
San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and St. Louis have all passed ordinances prohibiting smokeless tobacco use at sporting venues, including their major league stadiums. A statewide law in California will take effect before the 2017 season. Once all of these laws are implemented, 14 of 30 of major league stadiums will be tobacco-free, and other MLB cities are considering similar measures.
Download our fact sheet and watch our video to learn more about the campaign.
IN THE NEWS
Recent headlines have driven home the seriousness of the problem. In 2014, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died at age 54 from salivary gland cancer. Shortly after, pitching great Curt Schilling went public about his treatment for oral cancer. Both players attributed their health battles to their longtime use of smokeless tobacco. Their experiences generated widespread media coverage and calls to take tobacco out of baseball.
Smokeless tobacco will soon be banned at Miller Park and other sporting venues in Milwaukee…. Ald. Michael Murphy, the lead sponsor of the measure, said he hopes the ban sends a strong message to young people, many of whom see Major League baseball players as role models. “Baseball should really be a sport promoting physical fitness, not the opposite. Which in is promoting, in this case, cancer,” Murphy said.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 22, 2016
New signs detailing the ban have been posted in dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field. Cubs ace Jake Arrieta supports the ban and has cut back significantly on using chewing tobacco, but the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner still sneaks in an occasional pinch. “I really hate that I do dip,” Arrieta said. “I think it’s a good thing they’re trying to take it out of the game.”
Chicago Sun Times
July 13, 2016
Baseball players with big wads of chewing tobacco in their cheek are now a thing from the past at Busch Stadium. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted Friday to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco, dip and snuff at all sports venues, including Cardinals games at Busch Stadium….Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon said the team supported the ban.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 3, 2017
MLB and the union, according to The Associated Press, agreed to ban smokeless tobacco for all new major leaguers, a proactive step to rid the game of a disgusting, cancer-causing habit that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn’s family insists contributed to his 2014 death at the age of 54.
December 1, 2016
Get the Facts
The widespread use of smokeless tobacco in baseball helps to promote a product that can lead to nicotine addiction and causes cancer, as well as other health problems. Given this terrible example, it’s no surprise that too many kids are using smokeless tobacco. The latest surveys show that 14.7 percent of high school boys (and 8.8 percent of all high school students) reported current use of smokeless tobacco products. Here are reasons why baseball and tobacco shouldn’t mix: