New Big Leaguers Are Banned From Chewing Tobacco

As part of baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was finalized late Wednesday night, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a ban on smokeless tobacco for new major leaguers going forward. Several big-league cities have banned the use of chewing tobacco at their ballpark in recent years, including ballparks in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and D.C.


Advocacy groups have been working for years to cut down on the ambient affiliation between baseball and tobacco, with limited success. The cause received an unfortunate boost in 2014 when Tony Gwynn died of cancer at the age of 54. His family contends that his decades-long chewing tobacco habit directly contributed to his death.


And after San Francisco banned all smokeless tobacco in the ballpark at the start of last season, an anonymous survey of 25 Giants players that found only three of them supported the ban.


In the anonymous survey of Giants players, two of the 25 admitted they did not plan to comply—perhaps because the punishment is a relatively mild fine of $100, $250, or $500 depending on the number of offenses.


But any major leaguer who has more than one day of service will be able to chew to his heart’s content in cities that don’t ban the practice.









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