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. and Milwaukee 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, 12 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
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is knocking smokeless tobacco products out of the park, giving both fans and players less to chew on. The crackdown will be in sports venues and recreational areas that issue tickets across the city, including Citi Field (home of the Mets) and Yankee Stadium. The measure, which will extend a prohibition on smoking to include the use of all tobacco products, was signed into law by de Blasio on Wednesday.
April 6, 2016
Those storybook glory days now fade into a sobering dose of reality: Chewing tobacco cripples, kills and should be banned from Major League Baseball. We shouldn’t be having this conversation, but the Players Association has held firm, playing an obstinate tug-of-war game with facts and public pressure. Although chewing tobacco has been banned in the minor league since 1993, it’s still a perk once you become a big-leaguer.
April 7, 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:
REASON #1: Smokeless tobacco is harmful to health
REASON #2: Too many kids are using smokeless tobacco
REASON #3: Tobacco use in baseball reinforces tobacco marketing
REASON #4: Professional baseball players are role models for youth
All Baseball Fans
Tell MLB/Players Association to take tobacco out of baseball.