The city of San Francisco is working to pass an historic ordinance that would ban members of the Giants baseball team from using smokeless chewing tobacco during game play. This would be a first for Major League Baseball.
The ban was the result of a unanimous vote specifically geared toward MLB players’ use of smokeless tobacco and will apply to all playing fields citywide. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids helped push the law to a vote. However, it must pass one more vote and be signed by Ed Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, before going into effect.
If passed, the law will begin next year (January 1, 2016) and the start of the 2016 MLB season.
“It’s a serious health issue,” according to Jess Montejano, legislative aide to Mark Farrell, the chief sponsor of the ban. “Kids are seeing their athletic heroes chewing tobacco on the baseball diamond.’”
Rather than being blindsided by the ban, the San Francisco Giants have been paying close attention to the talks. Moreover, the MLB is quoted as stating they have “long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level” and have even looked forward to “a ban of its use on-field in discussions with the Major League Baseball Players Association.”
On April 10, 2015, the University of California San Francisco released a study focusing on baseball players’ use of chewing tobacco. The study concluded that by using chewing tobacco on the field (in front of fans, children specifically) they were acting as walking advertisements. Researcher found that more than half (52.3%) of male collegiate baseball players used smokeless tobacco at least once between 2012 and 2013.
While smokeless tobacco may be easier for baseball players to use during the game than other nicotine delivery replacements (especially while at bat!), it is much more dangerous for them. The San Francisco Giants and all MLB players (and you) should consider a safer smoke-free alternative like smokeless cigarettes from EverSmoke.
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