The Beginning of Baseball’s Tobacco-Free Era at Miller Park
Baseball’s opening day was April 3rd and, as the Milwaukee Brewer’s season starts, there’s a change this year at Miller Park. For the first time, Miller Park is a tobacco-free venue.
The change is meant to discourage Major League baseball players from “dipping” during games in Milwaukee. Supporters of the ban said it’s a poor example for kids to see their idols doing something that’s bad for their health.
With the ban’s approval, the Milwaukee Brewers have become one of 14 MLB teams to join a national campaign to take tobacco out of baseball, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
“Opening Day is a time when so many of baseball’s greatest traditions return for the season,” Michael Murphy, the alderman who sponsored the ordinance said in a statement. “But this year, I’m proud that Milwaukee can lead the way on a new tradition with the elimination of smokeless tobacco products from every sports venue in the city.”
“Smokeless tobacco harms the health of those who can use it, causing oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer as well as other health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth lesions,” Bevan Baker, commissioner of health said in the statement. “Ensuring that Major League baseball players promote healthy behaviors on the field is a welcome step in the continued fight against tobacco’s threat to public health.”
Smokeless tobacco use has been banned in the minor leagues and all new MLB baseball players are also prohibited from using smokeless tobacco, which will eventually lead to a completely tobacco-free MLB.