FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29, 2016

CONTACTS: John Schachter, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 202-296-5469


Toronto Takes Tobacco-Free Baseball Campaign International

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, DC – We are very excited that Toronto has joined the list of Major League Baseball cities working to take tobacco out of baseball once and for all. City Councillor Joe Mihevc announced today that he will lead the effort to eliminate smokeless tobacco use in both professional and amateur sports facilities in Toronto, including at Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays. We also commend the Blue Jays for supporting this effort to send the right message to youth that chewing tobacco is dangerous and should not be an accepted part of sports culture.

The great game of baseball should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product. Today’s announcement adds to the strong momentum to finally get tobacco out of baseball for kids, the players and the future. Today’s action in Toronto will help achieve our goal of making the next generation tobacco-free. We applaud Councillor Mihevc for leading this campaign and for his efforts to protect the health of our children.

In the past year, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles have enacted local laws prohibiting tobacco use at sports venues, including their professional baseball stadiums. These laws will be in effect by the start of the 2016 baseball season. A statewide law in California will take effect before the start of the 2017 season. Legislation is under consideration in New York City and has the support of both the Mets and the Yankees.

According to a report today by the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are placing letters in clubhouse lockers throughout spring training urging players to comply with these new laws and offering assistance to players in quitting tobacco use. The time has come for all Major League Baseball to set the right example for our kids and take tobacco out of the game for good.

All Baseball Fans

Ask Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to set the right example for kids and take tobacco out of baseball.