San Francisco Ordinance Bans Chewing Tobacco at AT&T Park | NBC Bay Area
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San Francisco Ordinance Bans Chewing Tobacco at AT&T Park

The City of San Francisco passed an ordinance last May prohibiting everyone, including baseball players, at the park from using smokeless tobacco.

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    When the San Francisco Giants take the field at AT&T Park this season you will not see any players chewing tobacco. Pete Suratos reports. (Published Thursday, March 31, 2016)

    When the San Francisco Giants take the field at AT&T Park this season you will not see any players chewing tobacco.

    The City of San Francisco passed an ordinance last May prohibiting everyone, including baseball players, at the park from using smokeless tobacco.

    Former Giants shortstop Rich Aurillia weighed in on the topic. While he never chewed tobacco, Aurillia understands why players may be unhappy about the new rule.

    "Some of these guys have been in the game for a while. They're used to doing it," Aurillia said. "They're grown men. And I think they feel like they have the ability to make their own decisions on what they want to do."

    Cities such as New York and Los Angeles have since joined San Francisco in banning smokeless tobacco.

    If a player violates the law, the first fine is $100. The amount increases with each violation. The most expensive fine is $500.

    "We know that this is a deadly and addictive product," said John Schachter with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a national campaign that pushed for the ban.

    Schachter said he hopes to see the same result around the country.

    "It's going to be setting a much better image for them and Major League Baseball, and for the millions of kids who are fans," he said.

    Schachter said the law will be largely self-enforced by the players, much like a smoke-free restaurant or bar. And he expects the players to comply.

    "With players being role models, not only do we want them to do the right thing and not be chewing tobacco, but we expect them to want to follow the law," Schachter said.

    The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said that Washington, D.C. and Toronto are the next baseball cities to pass a smokeless tobacco ban ordinance. The ultimate goal is to get every MLB baseball park to do the same.

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