Voices: Proposed MLB Smokeless Tobacco Ban

Mar 31, 2011, 8:01 PM

Earlier today, in our inaugural Idea Gallery Post, Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Cheryl Healton, President & Chief Executive Officer of Legacy, shared their perspective on why Major League Baseball should ban smokeless tobacco. But they're not the only ones talking about this issue. Read on for other takes:

Bobby Valentine, a former major league player and manager of the New York Mets, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "Take the Dip Out of the Ball Game."

Everyone in baseball knows someone who chews — it’s estimated that a third of players use some form of smokeless tobacco. Even I chewed during games when I was really bored. For many of us, it is simply part of the sport. It wasn’t until I had chewed for years that I realized what a bad example I was setting and quit.

Sports writer Rob Neyer took a stance as well in this SBNation.com post.

I can't for the life of me understand why ballplayers aren't allowed to smoke tobacco in the ballpark, but are allowed to chew it.

And late today in a report from the Boston Globe, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has indicated he personally believes that "smokeless tobacco should be banned at the Major League level, but that is a subject that we are required to bargain over with the Major League Players Association."

WEIGH IN: What are your thoughts on smokeless tobacco in MLB? Should professional athletes be held to a higher standard as role models?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.