San Francisco city supervisors have voted unanimously to ban chewing tobacco from all athletic venues, including baseball fields; if the ordinance passes a “final vote” April 28 and is approved by the city’s mayor, it’ll go into effect next year. From the AP:
The San Francisco ordinance is part of an overall push by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, based in Washington, D.C., which targeted the city and California to promote its anti-smoking efforts. An even more expansive bill outlawing all tobacco use, including electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, wherever an organized game of baseball is played in California is making its way through the Assembly.
The rule would cover games at AT&T Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. Chewing tobacco use is currently entirely banned in minor league baseball and restricted in the majors. Per ESPN, MLB teams “no longer provide tobacco to players, and players are prohibited from carrying tobacco cans in their uniforms or doing on-camera interviews while chewing.”
Several pro baseball players vowed publicly to stop chewing tobacco after respected Hall of Fame outfielder and longtime chewing tobacco user Tony Gwynn died in 2014 of mouth cancer. Further restrictions on the substance’s use may be discussed in future collective bargaining between MLB and the MLB players union.