Statement by Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast on Boston Proposal To Knock Tobacco Products Out of Baseball Parks
(August 5, 2015)
The American Lung Association of the Northeast applauds today’s announcement by Mayor Martin J. Walsh regarding the introduction of citywide legislation to eliminate the use of all tobacco products – including smokeless tobacco – at all baseball venues. The legislation builds off the 2013 decision to remove all combustible and electronic smoking devices from parks, addresses the widespread use of all deadly and destructive tobacco products, and sets the right example for America’s youth and for the health of the players. The law would apply to baseball and other sports stadiums and fields across Boston.
For years, leading health organizations have called for an end to smokeless tobacco in baseball. 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 imitate their heroes. While smoking rates have declined dramatically among youth over the last several decades, smokeless use has remained troubling steady.
In May, the City of San Francisco became the first city in the nation to prohibit the use of all tobacco products at all baseball venues and athletic fields, including by fans and players at AT&T Park. The Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously, and the law will take effect January 1, 2016.
If Boston’s bill passes, it’s a homerun for everyone: 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