Vile as the stuff may be in the eyes of critics, there’s really no disputing how chewing tobacco has for many decades been something of a staple in Major League Baseball. However, as of the first day of next year a new law will come into effect in San Francisco, banning the use of smokeless tobacco in all sporting arena and stadiums across the city – including AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
Players unable to kick the habit may be forced to switch to Big League Chew…grudgingly or otherwise.
The bill outlawing the use of chewing tobacco across the city was signed this week by Mayor Ed Lee, who seems to have struck a chord with the majority with his anti-tobacco push. Even the Giants themselves are apparently more than on-board with the idea, which for the most part is geared toward setting a better example for kids.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, former tobacco addict who successfully quit after taking a course of hypnosis.
“It’s a tough deal for some of these players who have grown up playing with it and there are so many triggers in the game,”
“I certainly don’t endorse it. With my two sons, the one thing I asked them is don’t ever start dipping.”
The move represent one push of the much wider ‘Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ program, which has been set up to make sure kids are not given the wrong idea about tobacco use. Critics had long-since warned that the use of chewing tobacco by influential Major League players made it look as if this was in fact key to their success story – something most agree is nothing but detrimental.
All of California’s sporting venues are expected to be covered by a blanket ban on tobacco eventually, including the use of e-cigarettes.
“Today, San Francisco entered the history books as the first city to take tobacco out of baseball,” announced Mathew L. Myers, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President.
“The home for the world champion Giants has set an example that all of Major League Baseball and the rest of the country should quickly follow,”
“Mayor Lee and the board of supervisors understand that the athletes are role models for impressionable youth,”
“When baseball stars use smokeless tobacco, the kids who look up to them are much more likely to as well. Our national pastime should have nothing to do with promoting a deadly and addictive product.”