May. 8 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today signed into law an ordinance to prohibit the use of all tobacco products – including smokeless tobacco – at all baseball venues and athletic fields within the city and county of San Francisco, including by fans and players at AT&T Park. The Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously on April 28. San Francisco is the first jurisdiction in the nation to approve such a measure. The law will take effect January 1, 2016.
The following is a Statement by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
“Today San Francisco entered the history books as the first city to take tobacco out of baseball. 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 San Francisco makes its baseball stadiums tobacco-free on January 1, 2016, all of Major League Baseball should do so as well. It’s time to eliminate tobacco from baseball once and for all.
Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors understand that athletes are role models for impressionable youth. 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.
We again applaud Supervisor Mark Farrell for being a true champion on this issue, putting the health of San Francisco’s kids first and leading this effort to break baseball’s unhealthy addiction to tobacco.”
Health authorities have found that smokeless tobacco use is hazardous to health and can lead to nicotine addiction. Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 known carcinogens and causes oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer – as well as other serious health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth lesions.
Public health groups launched the “Knock Tobacco Out of the Park” campaign earlier this year to promote tobacco-free baseball and provide visibility to the issue of smokeless tobacco in baseball. More information can be found at tobaccofreebaseball.org.