This past season, the Chicago Cubs knocked tobacco out of the park and won the World Series for the first time in more than 100 years. Coincidence? Perhaps not. Milwaukee and the Brewers have a chance to become the latest major league city to ban smokeless tobacco at all sporting venues, including our beloved Miller Park.
We love watching baseball and seeing our heroes win ballgames by hitting home runs or throwing strike-outs. But, as members of FACT, Wisconsin’s youth-led tobacco prevention movement, we understand that when young people see baseball players with a wad of chew in our mouth it sends the message to them that using smokeless tobacco is okay and not dangerous. After all, our heroes use it.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Smokeless tobacco causes several cancers, including mouth, tongue, cheek and gum cancer. It also causes mouth, tooth and heart problems.
By prohibiting smokeless tobacco at sporting venues, Milwaukee will join other major league cities including San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago, all cities that boast recent world series champion.
The Brewers club showed great promise this year, and the future for the team is bright. Let’s make their future, and the futures of all the youth who look up to them, even brighter by prohibiting this dangerous substance. Maybe, next year, we’ll be the latest tobacco-free team to enjoy great success!
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