San Francisco axes baseball tradition by outlawing smokeless tobacco

AT&T Park in San Francisco is home to the Giants.

Story highlights

  • City bans chewing tobacco at sports venues
  • Ordinance applies to Major League Baseball teams
  • Giants manager says "it can be a good thing"

(CNN)Chewing tobacco has long been a tradition in baseball, but that tradition could be on its way out in one big-league city.

San Francisco on Friday banned smokeless tobacco at all sports venues, including AT&T Park, home of the city's Major League Baseball team, the Giants.
It makes the city the first in the nation with such a restriction.
    The bill is intended to "send a simple and strong message -- tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, or our health," said Mark Farrell of the Board of Supervisors, who sponsored the bill.
    The ban could leave baseball players searching their pockets for a pack of gum.
    According to an article posted on the Giants webpage, team manager Bruce Bochy said, "It's a step in the right direction." "I think it can be a good thing. It's going to be hard to enforce. It's a tough habit to break."
    Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids released a statement praising the legislation, "The home of the World Champion Giants has set an example that all of Major League Baseball and the rest of the country should quickly follow... When baseball stars use smokeless tobacco, the kids who look up to them are much more likely to as well. Our national pastime should have nothing to do with promoting a deadly and addictive product."
    The ordinance goes into effect January 1, 2016.