Blog Entry

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Posted on: February 15, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 2:12 pm
DykstraThe pressure on baseball to outlaw tobacco has increased, with two Senate Democrats writing commissioner Bud Selig with a request to outlaw tobacco as reports.

"We now know conclusively that smokeless tobacco endangers the health of baseball players who use it, but it also affects millions of young people who watch baseball," the letter to Selig and the MLB players' union reads. "The use of smokeless tobacco by baseball players undermines the positive image of the sport and sends a dangerous message to young fans, who may be influenced by the players they look up to as role models."

Senate majority whip Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey) cited minor league baseball banning tobacco 30 years ago as all the more reason why baseball needs to ban the products at the major league level.

One problem with this is that changes at the minor league level do not need to be collectively bargained, while at the major league level, virtually all machinations -- even if technically not required -- tend to be bargained.

However, tobacco is well known to be linked to many different types of cancer, and smokeless tobacco causes cancers in the mouth and jaw. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn recently quit dipping once he was diagnosed with cancer. In the letter, the senators revealed that tobacco-related products kill 443,000 Americans a year with 1,000 children per day becoming addicted.

In a separate letter, the senators hailed the efforts of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, who publicly quit his addiction to chewing tobacco.

"Your individual decision to quit smokeless tobacco, not only for your health, but to set a positive image for the young people who look up to you and watch baseball, is laudable," they wrote. "We want to encourage you to stick with it. Baseball fans will notice. Your example could prevent disease and disability and save a few lives."

-- Evan Brunell

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Photo: Lenny Dykstra

Category: MLB

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:26 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

TrimeTimePDX... HAH that was a pretty funny post.  I don't think you noticed the title of the article, "SENATE URGING BASEBALL TO BAN TOBACCO". So I guess that disproves your statement abou them not taking it seriously with a 30 minute letter.  It's not up to the Senators to decide on if baseball players can chew tobacco or not.  That is bull crap, and it is just another instance of an example about how the Democrats want to create a "nanny state" for us citizens.
I find your stance hillarious about how the Democratic leaders are trying to save us money on health care by taking up this issue. LOL.  Any sane person would realize that if you want to cut health care costs you wouldn't go the MLB saying that you have to ban chewing tobacco LOL.  Maybe they should create a mandate that says if you aren't a citizen of the United States you can't get emergency room treatment, because that is actually one of the main drivers of why health care costs are going up now days.  I presume that you are probably a democrat given your idiotic stances on how to cut health care costs.  If I were you, next time I post I would think about what I'm typing instead of just trying to defend the democrats blindly without any relavent ideas on how to fix the problem.

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:45 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Wow, I must say I am amazed at the negative posts about this issue.  Two senators (who happen to be democrats) write a letter to the commish to try and improve the overall health and image of MLB and everyone here gets their panties twisted in a knot!  People... it's a letter not a house bill, and will likely never make it to the house floor for a vote.  It probably took all of 30 minutes to write it. 

Also, think about this, when these players are in their 50's & 60's and out of baseball (and likely broke), who is going to pay for their medical treatment when they get diagnosed with mouth cancer?  Even if they do have med. insurance, it would be an unnessesary cost to the insurance companies which will likely be paid for with higher premiums.  Sometimes sacrificing a little self freedom of choice is good for the common good and benefit of all IMO.

Since: Jul 12, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2011 10:35 am

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Of course it is two Democrats are trying to implement this as another step in the "nanny state".  These guys are a joke.  Instead of bugging the MLB they need to go fix their health care law so that it doesn't break the constitution.  They also need to go and create more private sector jobs.  While they are at it, they should also go get the President's spending spree of a budget under control so that they can lessen the the amount of our annual budget deficit.  It is amazing to me that the Democrats are spending their time on this crap when they have more important matters to tend to like the ones I just mentioned.  They should leave this tobacco ban up to Michelle Obama.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2011 6:48 am

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Why are senators getting involved in baseball again? They need to tend to more important matters. Not to mention that anyone who starts using smokeless tobacco does it own their own accord, and should take responsibility for their own actions.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Because our Senators dont have better issues to consider. What a joke.

Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2011 9:16 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Nice plug for Red Man in this picture.   NOM NOM

Since: Jun 11, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:54 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

That's crap.  Next thing they will do is ban spitting!
Tiger Woods

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:52 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Not one Senator or Congressman has the cojones to publicly declare they will not take $1 from any tobacco companies or lobbyists.  When they do this, then and only then should baseball be willing to listen to anything they say.  If they really want to get the attention of baseball or the general public, propose a law outlawing tobacco due to its inherent dangers from inhalation as smoke or ingestion when chewed.  Otherwise, keep your mouths shut and put your efforts into something of greater importance than your grandstanding to score publicity points with the media.

This is a prime example of activity by our elected officials that cause them to lose the respect of the public.  The vast majority of the people would either tell them to outlaw tobacco or keep their noses out of the business of consenting adults.  There isn't an adult in America who is not aware of the potential dangers from smoking or chewing tobacco.  Therefore, if an adult begins smoking or chewing, they do so knowing exactly what can happen to them.  Remember the principles this country was founded on.  Stay out of the way of the public and serve their needs-- not your own, Senators.  If the public outcry against smokeless tobacco, then pass a law and act on what the people who elected you are telling you to do.  Stop manufacturing issues to serve your own purposes and do the job you are being directed to do.  Stop trying to wag the dog instead of letting it be the other way around.

Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:37 pm



Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:36 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

WHy does the government keep putting the responsibility on businesses- MLB, Restaurants, Bars etc. If they truly believe that tobacco is evil and no good for anyone, then they should ban it like they do pot and Coke. Then we can have a war on tobacco. But they have to quit taking the Tobacco money. This Durbin will never allow. He talks but not enough nerve to really take a stance against tobacco. Instead he writes letters for other guys to do it.Comon Senator, do the right thing. We will vote for you forever if you can do it.

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