National Spit Tobacco Education Program's Major League Baseball Initiative

This project represents a partnership between the National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP) and Major League Baseball (MLB) to design and conduct a campaign that uses baseball's imagery and players to reach three audiences with anti-spit-tobacco messages: pre-adolescent children, focusing on discouraging first use of spit tobacco; young male athletes and high-risk female athletes, incorporating cessation and prevention education; and adult influencers (including parents, teachers, coaches, dental professionals, athletes, and sportscasters), suggesting strategies to curb spit tobacco use, access, and promotion. Two major program components will be employed: (1) a national public service announcement (PSA) and media campaign that will involve all 28 MLB franchises; and (2) local community outreach and education programs in six franchises targeted for intensive programming. The media campaign will center around television and radio PSAs aired during national and local MLB broadcasts, and will also include print PSAs designed for major baseball publications (e.g., scorecards, yearbooks, event programs) and for outside distribution (e.g., Little League, NCAA). The six franchises selected for community outreach efforts are: the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. For each of these targeted areas, a local NSTEP coordinator will be recruited to mobilize coaches, local youth organizations, dental health professionals, voluntary health organizations, and local businesses and media to take part in a broad, community-based initiative. At the end of the season, the coordinators will meet with an expert oversight committee to identify the most and least successful elements of these community initiatives, and to lay the groundwork for possible future replications. It is expected that organized baseball will be an effective vehicle for delivering powerful anti-spit-tobacco messages to three critical audiences.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $767,986.00

Awarded on: 4/18/1996

Time frame: 5/1/1996 - 1/31/1997

Grant Number: 28191


Oral Health America, America's Fund for Dental Health

410 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 352
Chicago, 60611-4211


Robert J. Klaus
Project Director


Denise S. LeBloch
Project Director