The law would ban major league baseball players, and spectators, from enjoying one of the sport's oldest traditions.
Dippers and chewers: You may be no longer welcome at San Francisco's sports facilities and playing fields before very long.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering legislation that would make the City by the Bay the first in the United States to ban chewing tobacco and related tobacco products from city sports activities and facilities.
The legislation was scheduled to be introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell at Tuesday afternoon's Board of Supervisors meeting.
The purpose of the chewing tobacco restrictions is to protect "the next generation of San Franciscans," the supervisor said in a statement released earlier in the day.
"This is an issue affecting millions of children across our country and thousands of children in San Francisco," he said. "I don't want my children's future, or the future of any other children growing up in San Francisco playing baseball, to include chewing tobacco. No more."
The legislation, if passed, would ban chewing tobacco from baseball events at all levels, "including the major and minor leagues, all interscholastic and intramural play, and organized leagues for youth, or adults," according to Farrell's announcement. It not only covers players, but fans and anyone else in attendance of such an event.
Chewing tobacco has been long associated with the sport of baseball and though it may not seem as menacing as smoking cigarettes, poses health threats. Roger Eng, president of the San Francisco Medical Society, said in a statement that chewing tobacco is "a dangerous, addictive product containing at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals."
Similar statewide legislation restricting the use of chewing tobacco has been introduced in Sacramento. But as the San Francisco Chronicle reported last month, such a push against smokeless tobacco products might prove difficult to enforce within the baseball community.
"Some players are probably going to fight it," Oakland A's outfielder Josh Reddick said recently, according to the Chronicle. "I know players who put in a dip every inning. It's going to be interesting to see how they deal with it."
This piece originally appeared on Government Executive, an Atlantic partner site.
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