No dippin’ on the diamond?

State bill would ban smokeless tobacco from all baseball fields in California

A bill introduced on Feb. 24 will, if passed, ban all smokeless tobacco from every baseball venue in California, including all five Major League Baseball stadiums.

A revived call to ban smokeless tobacco in MLB venues has arisen after the death of Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn, who spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres. He died of salivary gland cancer last year at age 54. The author of the bill, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), said, “This is all about helping young people. … Kids emulate ballplayers. If they see them use it, they will use it as well.”

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the bill is just the start of a national movement, and that he “hopes that California can be a catalyst.”