Tobacco Unfiltered

Baseball Great Curt Schilling: Chewing Tobacco “Gave Me Cancer”

It’s time to take tobacco out of Major League Baseball

Editor
Aug 20, 2014

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All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling was known for his toughness during his Major League Baseball career.  Who can forget the bloody sock from the 2004 playoffs, when he helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series championship in 86 years?

Now Schilling is in another tough battle – against oral cancer that he today attributed to his longtime use of chewing tobacco.  Schilling’s statement comes just months after Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn’s death from cancer that he, too, attributed to chewing tobacco.

Continue reading Baseball Great Curt Schilling: Chewing Tobacco “Gave Me Cancer”

posted August 20, 2014

Honor Tony Gwynn: Knock Tobacco Out of the Park for Good

Editor
Jun 19, 2014

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All of us at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids were saddened this week by the death of baseball great Tony Gwynn — “a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person,” as MLB.com described him.

We are also grateful that he bravely spoke out about the link between oral cancer and chewing tobacco use, which remains all too common in Major League Baseball. Gwynn attributed his own cancer to longtime use of chewing tobacco. “Of course it caused it,” Gwynn once said. “I always dipped on my right side,” where his cancer started.

Continue reading Honor Tony Gwynn: Knock Tobacco Out of the Park for Good

posted June 19, 2014

Skoal’s Return Ramps Up Smokeless Tobacco Ads in Magazines

Nearly 13 percent of high school boys use smokeless

Editor
May 28, 2014

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Cigarettes and electronic cigarettes aren’t the only tobacco products being heavily advertised in magazines with large youth readerships.

So are smokeless tobacco products, especially now that the Skoal brand is again advertising in magazines for the first time since February 2009, according to the Trinkets & Trash website, which tracks tobacco advertising.

Continue reading Skoal’s Return Ramps Up Smokeless Tobacco Ads in Magazines

posted May 28, 2014

Bangladesh Enacts Landmark Tobacco Control Law

Big step for country where 43 percent of adults use tobacco

Editor
May 10, 2013

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Overcoming more than four years of delays and strong tobacco industry opposition, the Parliament of Bangladesh has enacted a new law that significantly strengthens the country’s efforts to reduce tobacco use.  

The new law is a major step forward in a country where about 43 percent of adults use tobacco, with high rates of both cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use.

Continue reading Bangladesh Enacts Landmark Tobacco Control Law

posted May 10, 2013

India fights addictive “path to death”

More states ban cancer-causing gutka chewing tobacco

Editor
Sep 7, 2012

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Despite powerful opposition from a billion-dollar industry, India continues to make progress in banning gutka – a deadly form of chewing tobacco that is fueling the country’s oral cancer epidemic.

Continue reading India fights addictive “path to death”

posted September 07, 2012

Baseball Season Opens Tonight with Historic Restrictions on Tobacco

Enforcement is key to new smokeless tobacco limits

Editor
Apr 4, 2012

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Major League Baseball players who take the field tonight and tomorrow for the opening games of the 2012 season must do so without a tin of tobacco in their uniform pockets — one of the ground-breaking restrictions on smokeless tobacco included in the new contract.

Continue reading Baseball Season Opens Tonight with Historic Restrictions on Tobacco

posted April 04, 2012

Tax Hikes Proposed on All Tobacco Products as States Seek to Close Loopholes, Thwart Industry

Push toward higher taxes on cigars, smokeless, loose tobacco

Editor
Jan 30, 2012

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States around the country are getting wise to the tobacco industry's promotion of products such as sweet-flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco as a way to hook kids and offset the decline in cigarette smoking:  Increasingly, governors and lawmakers are proposing higher taxes on "other tobacco products" that too often have been left out when cigarette taxes are hiked.

Continue reading Tax Hikes Proposed on All Tobacco Products as States Seek to Close Loopholes, Thwart Industry

posted January 30, 2012

Mints, Gum, Candy — or Tobacco?

Youth advocate tells FDA panel of dangerous confusion on dissolvable products

Editor
Jan 20, 2012

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Brightly colored packages for products labeled "fresh," "wintergreen" and "java" just aren't what they seem, youth tobacco-control advocate Judy Hou says.

"They're these little packages that you can stick in your pocket," says Hou. "They look like Tic Tacs."

In fact, they're dissolvable tobacco products, and the subject of Food and Drug Administration hearings this week on whether these new smokeless products and the marketing used to promote them appeal to kids and pose a public health threat.

Continue reading Mints, Gum, Candy — or Tobacco?

posted January 20, 2012

We Did It: New Baseball Contract Limits Smokeless Tobacco

Coalition to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park gets baseball to start snuffing out tobacco

Editor
Nov 22, 2011

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Major League Baseball and the players' union have taken an historic first step toward getting tobacco out of the ballgame by placing significant limits on smokeless tobacco at the ballpark and whenever players are around fans.

Under the new contract agreement that MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced, whenever fans are at the ballpark, players, manager and coaches will no longer be able to carry a tobacco tin or package in their uniform pocket, or anywhere on their bodies.

Continue reading We Did It: New Baseball Contract Limits Smokeless Tobacco

posted November 22, 2011

11,000 Sign Open Letter Calling for Tobacco-Free Baseball

Fans, health advocates urge players’ union to back tobacco ban at games

Editor
Nov 11, 2011

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Nearly 11,000 baseball fans and health advocates have sent an open letter to player representatives of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) urging players to agree to prohibit smokeless tobacco use at games and on camera.

Continue reading 11,000 Sign Open Letter Calling for Tobacco-Free Baseball

posted November 11, 2011

House Members, Little League Join Call for Tobacco-Free Baseball

Kids “deserve nothing less”

Editor
Nov 4, 2011

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Two more members of Congress and Little League International have joined the drive to end smokeless tobacco use in Major League Baseball, urging big-league ballplayers to become better role models for the next generation of fans.

Continue reading House Members, Little League Join Call for Tobacco-Free Baseball

posted November 04, 2011

World Series Resumes Tonight with Boost for Tobacco-Free Baseball

ABC World News Now reports on how young players mimic their role models to become addicted

Editor
Oct 27, 2011

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ABC World News Now reports on young baseball players who started chewing tobacco as teens and now can't break their addiction. Southern Baptist leader Dr. Richard Land and ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine tell the network that Major League Baseball must provide better role models.

Says Valentine: "The message is this–wise up! We have to put forth a better face, and that face has to be one without a bulge in our lip."

Continue reading World Series Resumes Tonight with Boost for Tobacco-Free Baseball

posted October 27, 2011

Bag the Chew, Snuff Out the Problem and Just Play Ball!

Editorials, columnists say get tobacco out of baseball

Editor
Oct 26, 2011

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Newspaper editorials and sports columnists around the country are calling for the Major League Baseball players union to finally end the game's unseemly addiction to tobacco by agreeing to ban the use of smokeless tobacco in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Continue reading Bag the Chew, Snuff Out the Problem and Just Play Ball!

posted October 26, 2011

U.S. Senators Call for Tobacco-Free Baseball

Health officials in Texas and St. Louis want tobacco out of World Series, MLB

Editor
Oct 18, 2011

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With the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals set to begin the 2011 World Series Wednesday night, four U.S. Senators called on the Major League Baseball Players Association to protect players' health and the well-being of millions of young fans by agreeing to a contractual ban on tobacco use at games.  

Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct) urged in a letter to Players Association executive director Michael Weiner that the ban be effective in the 2012 baseball contract. The senators noted that the World Series is likely to be watched by an estimated 15 million viewers, many of them children.

Continue reading U.S. Senators Call for Tobacco-Free Baseball

posted October 18, 2011

Baseball Playoffs Can Make History for Health

League Championship Series should set the pace for tobacco-free baseball

Editor
Oct 10, 2011

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The Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals can do more than make baseball history as they face off in the American and National League championship series.  

The players can help break Major League Baseball's addiction to smokeless tobacco by voluntarily refraining from using tobacco during the high-profile playoff games, viewed by millions of kids in the United States and around the world.

Continue reading Baseball Playoffs Can Make History for Health

posted October 10, 2011

“Moneyball” is Blockbuster Reason to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball

Brad Pitt spits as Billy Beane, highlighting the tobacco problem in baseball's culture

Editor
Sep 26, 2011

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Millions of moviegoers who saw the Hollywood blockbuster "Moneyball," this weekend watched a multi-million dollar advertisement for getting tobacco out of Major League Baseball.

Brad Pitt plays Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane with tobacco tucked in his cheek, spitting repeatedly into a cup. Though Major League Baseball asked Sony Pictures to remove the scenes of tobacco use, the movie company says it kept them in for authenticity.

And that’s the problem. 

Continue reading “Moneyball” is Blockbuster Reason to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball

posted September 26, 2011

Even Superman Succumbs to Tobacco

India’s smokeless tobacco epidemic claims actor whose character fought “gutka king”

Editor
Sep 16, 2011

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Tobacco does not spare even Superman.

Shafique Sheikh, a 25-year old Indian actor, became a local celebrity playing Superman in a spoof of the popular superhero movies. In Sheikh's version of the film, Superman battled an evil "gutka king" who wants to flood the town with cheap, addictive chewing tobacco.

In real life, the former textile worker had begun using the local form of smokeless tobacco — gutka — at age eight, consuming as many as 40 packets daily until he was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition in his jaw when he was 18.

Continue reading Even Superman Succumbs to Tobacco

posted September 16, 2011

As MLB Season Heats Up, Campaign to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball Grows

Supporters around the country now working to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park

Editor
Aug 18, 2011

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As the Little League World Series rolls along and Major League Baseball pennant races heat up, the Knock Tobacco Out of the Park coalition is hitting championship stride.

More than 120 national, state and local organizations — including baseball insiders, youth leagues and dozens of health groups — are urging the players union to agree to Commissioner Bud Selig's call for a ban. More are signing up every week.

Continue reading As MLB Season Heats Up, Campaign to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball Grows

posted August 18, 2011

Young Baseball Fan Makes a Great Play Against Smokeless Tobacco

Dad's struggle with addiction inspires Little League contest winner

Editor
Aug 1, 2011

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Eleven-year-old Louie Lafakis has seen the unhealthy relationship between baseball and smokeless tobacco up close and personal. His father, John, started using it in high school, when his baseball teammates told him he wouldn't make the varsity squad if he didn't dip.

What started as a youthful effort to fit in turned into a harmful addiction for John Lafakis, who is now 44 and still has been unable to quit.

Continue reading Young Baseball Fan Makes a Great Play Against Smokeless Tobacco

posted August 01, 2011

Tobacco-Free Baseball a Big Hit at MLB FanFest

Hundreds of fans, baseball legends want tobacco out of the major leagues

Editor
Jul 11, 2011

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Hundreds of fans, coaches, and families — as well as current players and baseball legends — at the MLB FanFest in Phoenix are joining the campaign to get Major League Baseball players to stop using smokeless tobacco at games and on camera, where their chewing and spitting creates the image that tobacco use is cool and athletic.

Continue reading Tobacco-Free Baseball a Big Hit at MLB FanFest

posted July 11, 2011

Another Voice Speaks Out Against Tobacco in Baseball

Diamondbacks owner joins growing chorus urging MLB players to be better role models for kids

Editor
May 19, 2011

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Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick makes a point each spring of speaking to his team about baseball's tradition as a family sport. And he’s worked closely with Arizona health officials on an extensive educational program — "the No Chew Crew" to teach elementary school children about the risks of smokeless tobacco.

Continue reading Another Voice Speaks Out Against Tobacco in Baseball

posted May 19, 2011

“I Dip Because You Do”

HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel takes on smokeless tobacco use in Major League Baseball

Editor
May 17, 2011

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An all-star lineup of Major League Baseball notables including Brett Butler, a cancer survivor who played in the majors for 17 seasons, and ESPN analyst and former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, discuss the dangerous use of smokeless tobacco in baseball and its negative impact on young fans on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel tonight.

Continue reading “I Dip Because You Do”

posted May 17, 2011

Smokeless Tobacco Ads Push Flavored Products and Target Current Smokers

Marketing shift threatens kids and undercuts quitting efforts

Editor
Apr 11, 2011

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The 21st-century version of the "light" and "low tar" ruse that kept smokers hooked despite their health concerns may well be the emergence of a new marketing strategy for smokeless tobacco that pushes these harmful products as an alternative to cigarettes.

A new study conducted by Legacy clearly documents a shift in smokeless tobacco magazine advertising away from a determined focus on men's sporting and leisure publications toward general-interest magazines aimed at a much broader market. The industry is increasingly pushing flavored products — which could influence kids to start using smokeless tobacco. And it's trying to attract smokers who are restricted from lighting up due to the success of smoke-free air policies — when the best step they could take for their health is to quit.

Continue reading Smokeless Tobacco Ads Push Flavored Products and Target Current Smokers

posted April 11, 2011

Update: MLB Commissioner Wants Smokeless Tobacco Out of Baseball

Editor
Apr 1, 2011

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Thanks to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who has just stated his view that "smokeless tobacco should be banned at the Major League level" and that MLB will propose such restrictions in contract talks with the players' union.

Continue reading Update: MLB Commissioner Wants Smokeless Tobacco Out of Baseball

posted April 01, 2011

ESPN Analyst, ex-Mets Manager Bobby Valentine Urges Tobacco Ban in Major Leagues

Tobacco-free all stars in lineup for opening day

Editor
Mar 31, 2011

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Baseball's Opening Day has started with a burst of energy, excitement and momentum in the campaign to get smokeless tobacco out of the ballgame.

 

Continue reading ESPN Analyst, ex-Mets Manager Bobby Valentine Urges Tobacco Ban in Major Leagues

posted March 31, 2011

Health Officials in Major League Cities Want Tobacco-Free Baseball

Drive to knock tobacco out of the park quickens as opening day nears

Editor
Mar 29, 2011

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The movement to get tobacco out of Major League Baseball is gaining momentum.

Top public health officials from coast to coast — representing a majority of cities where Major League Baseball is played — have joined in asking MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, to prohibit use of tobacco by players, coaches and other baseball staff at games.

Continue reading Health Officials in Major League Cities Want Tobacco-Free Baseball

posted March 29, 2011

Key Newspapers Call for Major Leagues to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball

MLB hometown papers step up to the plate

Editor
Mar 4, 2011

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Leading newspapers around the country have joined the call for Major League Baseball and the players union to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco at games.

In recent weeks, the Philadelphia Inquirer (hometown paper to the Phillies), the San Diego Union-Tribune (Padres) and the Star-Ledger of New Jersey (Yankees or Mets—you make the call!) have all spoken out in support of a ban.

Continue reading Key Newspapers Call for Major Leagues to Get Tobacco Out of Baseball

posted March 04, 2011

The Big Tobacco Wolf Sheds Its Sheep’s Clothing

Industry's latest actions put the lie to claims of change

Editor
Feb 28, 2011

Image of new Marlboro product

The tobacco companies claim they've changed and are now responsible corporate citizens.  All the while, they continue to market to kids, deceive the public and fight proven measures to reduce tobacco use.

The proof is in recent headlines:

Continue reading The Big Tobacco Wolf Sheds Its Sheep’s Clothing

posted February 28, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays Show Winning Ways

Team support adds to building momentum for ban on tobacco in Major League Baseball

Editor
Feb 22, 2011

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The Tampa Bay Rays will have to play the 2011 season to see if they're winners on the field again — but they're already champions in the growing movement to get smokeless tobacco out of Major League Baseball. 

The 2010 American League East division winners took time out from spring training to talk to the Fox News affiliate in Tampa about their distaste for the widespread use of smokeless tobacco in Major League Baseball, and the desire of many on the team and among its fans to see baseball go tobacco-free. 

Continue reading Tampa Bay Rays Show Winning Ways

posted February 22, 2011

It’s Time to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park

Key U.S. Senators ask Major League Baseball and players' union to prohibit tobacco

Editor
Feb 15, 2011

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With spring training for the 2011 season about to begin, two U.S. senators have formally called on Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to prohibit the use of all tobacco products on the field, in the dugout and in locker rooms at MLB venues.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey wrote to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the Players Association, asking them to protect players and their young fans by finally ending  the use of tobacco in baseball.

Continue reading It’s Time to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park

posted February 15, 2011

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About This Blog

We blog news and information about the global movement to reduce tobacco use and its devastating toll.

We expose the tobacco industry's deceitful practices and chronicle the work of advocates in the United States and around the globe who are battling the world’s leading cause of preventable death.

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