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.
For years, public health leaders have urged Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association to end smokeless tobacco use in baseball, but they have not done so. To protect our kids, cities and states must now act and prohibit all tobacco use at baseball venues across the country. 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.
San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City have recently 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, one-third 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.
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
In Boston, the rules cover the city’s baseball parks and other professional and amateur sports venues. Event organizers are responsible for overseeing compliance, and violators can be fined $250 for each offense…. “We are not going to be running on the field to issue citations,” said Boston Police Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy, a department spokesman. “The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage those who are looked up to as role models to be role models.”
April 5, 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