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: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:10 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

They want to ban chew and they want to tell you where you can smoke but God forbid they talk about no longer selling the products.  Though the products have been proven to kill people over the years and cause severe illness the government makes to much money from taxes and such to stop selling these items.  So while they still sell them smoke'm(chew) if you've got em.

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:32 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

I understand the whole setting a good example thing. But honestly, when I was a kid growing up watching baseball I didn't even notice or care what they had in their mouths. All I paid attention to was how each player played and the stats they put up. I can't and don't speak for everyone, but I think the majority of kids these days are a lot like I was. So, other than that, I see no reason why professional players can't put whatever they want into their mouths during game time. Players have been using smokeless tobacco for years and there have been no problems, no reason to change things now.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:00 pm

Vote stupid

If you don't want your elected representatives to tell baseball players not to use smokeless tobacco, don't vote for representatives who will tell baseball players not to use smokeless tobacco

Since: May 23, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:51 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

You can have my chew when you pry it from my cold dead hands(and or mouth)!!!  

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:35 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Of all the baseball players who have used smokeless tobacco in the past...they can come up with only one man, Tony Gwynn, who has gotten cancer... and they don't even know if that's from  his tobaco use?

Where's the rest of the baseball athletes with cancer of the jaw, etc. etc?

Smokeless tobacco is disgusting, I don' deny that, and God knows why baseball players want to use it...but if they want to use it, it's their damn right.

Since: Mar 31, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:09 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

AES & Zetta- you guys are spot on. Why is government worrying about this now? Parents have the most influence here, and if that doesn't work at first, give your child a nice MLB size dip. They will get sick and never touch it again.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:01 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

Can the Senate, and the government as a whole, get the **** ouf of sports and back into more pressing matters? Why am I still paying $3.30 a gallon at the pump, despite the fact that inflated oil prices helped to nearly cripple the economy for good? Why is health care so expensive and not available to everyone? Why the **** are we still fighting a war we have no business in? Who is going to fix our absurd defecit? Who is going to bail out all the employees that no longer have a pension? IL and CA are broker than Mike Tyson. Anyone have a plan? And they're instead doing what they always do: hiding behind children and political correctness to further pansy agendas. As a kid, I loved baseball. Did I take up dip? No, because it's gross and because my parents said not to. This is another infuriating waste of resources that makes me want to move to Canada and learn to like Molson.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 2:49 pm

Senate urging baseball to ban tobacco

What a joke.....These Senators need to focus on the jobs they were elected to do......Create jobs and help get this country out of a recession.  I wonder how the people who took time to back and vote for these two clowns feel, seeing their vote go towards telling adults what they can and can't do. Saying it effects kids, seeing chew, is weak.  It's up to parent to tell kids right from wrong.
There are millions of things that are of utmost importance for Seators. This isn't even on that list.

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