FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 11, 2016
CONTACT: Mina Radman, 202-296-5469
City Council Approves Tobacco-Free Baseball in Nation’s Capital
Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Washington Nationals lead in the National League Division Series, our nation’s capital has sent a strong message to the rest of the country that it’s time to take tobacco out of baseball once and for all. The D.C. City Council today approved an ordinance ending the use of all tobacco products – including smokeless tobacco like chew, dip and snuff – at all organized sporting events within the city, including at Nationals Park.
The City Council will vote on the ordinance again in November before it goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature. When finalized, Washington, D.C., will join five Major League cities and the state of California in making baseball tobacco-free.
A positive step forward, today’s vote sends a simple and powerful message to kids: Baseball and tobacco don’t mix. Our national pastime should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product. Today’s vote also provides further momentum for the nationwide campaign to take tobacco out of baseball for the sake of kids, the players and the future of the game.
We applaud Councilmember Yvette Alexander for stepping up to the plate for this important legislation and protecting our children’s health.
San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have enacted laws prohibiting tobacco use at sports venues, including their professional baseball 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. Legislation is currently under consideration in Toronto and the state of Minnesota.
As more cities become tobacco-free, it’s time for Major League Baseball and its players to accept the inevitable, set the right example for kids and promptly agree to prohibit smokeless tobacco use at all Major League ballparks.
For more information, visit www.tobaccofreebaseball.org