In anticipation of Opening Day of the 2011 baseball season, a group of public health officials are asking Commissioner Bud Selig and the Major League Baseball Players Association to ban tobacco use at major league ballparks. In a letter (.pdf) dated yesterday, the group, which includes officials from 15 MLB cities, wrote:
It is urgent for the league and the players union to address this issue now, as contract negotiations for the 2012 collective bargaining agreement are underway. Progress cannot wait. The use of smokeless tobacco endangers the health of Major League ballplayers and sets a terrible example for the millions of young people who watch baseball at the ballparks and on TV...
As officials in Major League cities around the country, we know that baseball is important to civic life and that ballplayers are local heroes. They should provide positive role models and not associate themselves with a product that causes disease and death.
The signees also note that tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people each year.
Previously: Congressman calls for ban of chewing tobacco in baseball
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