Leading medical and public health groups have encouraged the Major League Baseball (MLB) and its players to make the game tobacco-free, as this will set a good example for children.
The tobacco-free rule would apply to all of the major league ballparks. The goal is to have the rule passed before the start of the 2016 MLB season.
This movement is part of the Knock Tobacco Out of the Park campaign based in several cities; most recently, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City have approved of ordinances that prohibit the use of smokeless tobaccos at all sporting venues. This includes the regions’ major league stadiums.
In California, a statewide law will be implemented against tobacco before MLB’s 2017 season begins.
After the laws are enforced, approximately one third of the nation’s major league stadiums will be free of tobacco. There are other MLB cities that are deciding whether to take similar steps in protecting children.
To encourage the law, the 34 health groups sent a letter to the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and Major League Baseball (MLB).
“Our organizations are committed to advocating for these ordinances city by city until all of Major League Baseball is tobacco-free,” according to the health groups’ letter. “But we hope that will not be necessary. We strongly urge MLB and the MLBPA to realize the inevitability of tobacco-free baseball and to agree to a complete prohibition on smokeless tobacco use in all major league stadiums as part of the next collective bargaining agreement being negotiated this year.”