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San Francisco Giants face chewing-tobacco ban at home stadium – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 27th, 2015 by Ian

San Francisco Giants face chewing-tobacco ban at home stadium
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The San Francisco Giants have obviously being doing something right since they’ve won the World Series three times in the past five years. And since most pro athletes are superstitious they don’t like to change their ways when they’re winning. However, the city of San Francisco might make some changes for them if it has its way. What the city wants to do is stamp out the team’s use of smokeless tobacco. The product is banned in baseball’s minor leagues, but it’s still allowed at the Major League level. However, there are some rules concerning it which are aimed at reducing the visibility of players using it.

Chewing tobacco is an age-old tradition in baseball though and there are still dozens of players who use it. This could come to an end in San Francisco if city officials pass a new law which would ban tobacco at the Giants’ home stadium of AT&T Park. The league tried to ban smokeless tobacco during the last collective bargaining agreement negotiations, but the players would have none of it and the suggestion was rejected by the union.

Smokeless tobacco, like all tobacco, has been proven to be fatal for users in many instances, but it’s still legal. Former San Diego Padres’ legend Tony Gwynn died in 2014 at the age of 54 from salivary-gland cancer. The Hall of Famer said he contracted due to years of chewing tobacco. In addition, former pitcher Curt Schilling contracted oral cancer from chewing tobacco for 30 years. After Gwynn passed away many players kicked the habit, but San Francisco officials want to force players to stop at all parks across the city.

Even some of the players who chew tobacco say they like to see it banned since it may help them quit. Relief pitcher J.P. Howell of the Los Angeles Dodgers told the media he’d actually support a ban even though he goes through a can of tobacco per day. Howell admitted that it’s a filthy habit and he’s tried to stop it many times. But before a ban is introduced it has to be approved by a Board of Supervisors and then signed by the city’s mayor, Ed Lee. If it passes, AT&T Park would be the first MLB stadium to ban smokeless tobacco from its premises.

MLB released a statement regarding the matter which said, “MLB has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field in all of our ballparks.” The players’ union didn’t have a comment on the topic, but there’s not much they can do it if becomes law. The union has said that smokeless tobacco shouldn’t be banned because it’s legal. But that argument doesn’t hold any water since cigarettes are legal and are also banned in numerous places, including most areas of MLB ball parks.

In America, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has estimated that approximately 535,000 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17 start to use smokeless tobacco every year and many of them do so because they see baseball players using it.

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