Richmond’s new Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) has started his first term in full swing with plans to prohibit tobacco use in every professional baseball venue in California, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Thurmond, who was elected in November to represent East Bay cities from Oakland to Hercules, characterized the bill as “just another way to help young people.”
While already banned in minor league parks, this bill would expand the ban on tobacco use to all major league ballparks as well. Smokeless tobacco —also known as “dip”—has long been prevalent at baseball diamonds. And while some parks have banned spectator tobacco use, none have prevented players from using dip in the dugout or on the field.
With Thurmond’s new bill, anyone in violation, including players, would be cited.
Smoking has steeply declined in recent years but public health experts have noted that smokeless tobacco use has not followed as sharp a change. Many of the bill’s supporters believe this ban would ensure professional players set an example for young fans.
“If this effort can help young athletes and prevent them from having cancer or other illness, then I think it is worth it,” Thurmond said to the Bee.
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