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San Francisco Giants to be the first MLB team to ban smokeless tobacco

By Marilyn Malara
San Francisco Giants to be the first MLB team to ban smokeless tobacco
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy says impending ban of smokeless tobacco is "a step in the right direction." Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, May 9 (UPI) -- San Francisco on Friday became the first city in the nation to ban smokeless tobacco from all athletic venues, and so players at the city's AT&T Park have some habits to break.

The Giants have become the first Major League Baseball team to ban chewing tobacco on the field due to the new restriction.

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"San Francisco will send a simple and strong message. Tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, our health," Board of Supervisors member Mark Farrell, who sponsored the ordinance, said last month. Not only are players barred from partaking in smokeless tobacco, but any fans caught using will be ejected from the premises.

In a post on the Giants' website, player Madison Bumgarner responded in support of the bill: "Hopefully it will be a positive thing for us players. It's not an easy thing to stop doing, but I support the city."

Team manager Bruce Bochy echoes the same support: "It's a step in the right direction. I think it's a good thing. It's going to be hard to enforce. It's a tough habit to break."

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Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew L. Myers said in a statement that the Giants have "set an example that all Major League Baseball and the rest of the country should quickly follow."

"Our national pastime should have nothing to do with promoting a deadly and addictive product," Myers said.

The restrictions will go into effect January 1, 2016.

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