Statement by the American Lung Association in California on CA Legislation To Ban Tobacco Products in Baseball Parks
(February 27, 2015)
The American Lung Association in California supports the recently announced statewide and citywide legislation to eliminate the use of all tobacco products – including smokeless tobacco – at all baseball venues. Sponsored by California Assembly member Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) and San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell (District 2), the two pieces of legislation address the widespread use of these deadly and destructive products and sets the right example for America’s youth and for the health of the players.
For years, leading health organizations have called for an end to smokeless tobacco in baseball. Many California residents might not know that in 2006 Petco Park in San Diego became the first US major league ballpark to go tobacco-free, and more recently was among the first to prohibit e-cigarette use. The American Lung Association in California helped the Padres develop their tobacco-free policy, which has never applied to players due to their collective bargaining agreement.
It is tragic to watch baseball players succumb to cancer from using smokeless tobacco, and truly disturbing to see youth take up the deadly habit to be like their heroes. An estimated 7.4 percent of high school students are current smokeless tobacco users. If this bill passes everyone wins: fans, baseball staff and volunteers, players of all ages, and those who look to them as models.
To learn more about the "Knock Tobacco Out of the Park" campaign, and how you can help, please visit tobaccofreebaseball.org.