This bill would prohibit the use of tobacco products, as defined, including smokeless tobacco, in a baseball stadium, which includes the physical area in which a professional, collegiate, high school, or other organized baseball game or practice is occurring.
AAP Positional Letter
April 27, 2015
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
State Capitol, Room 5150
Sacramento, CA 95814
AB 768 (Thurmond) Tobacco Free Baseball Act
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Thurmond,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California, representing the 5,000 board-certified pediatrician members of all four California AAP regional chapters statewide (Ch 1 – Northern California, Ch 2 – Greater Los Angeles, Ch 3 – San Diego, and Ch 4 – Orange County), strongly supports your proposed legislation AB 768 (Thurmond). AB 768, the Tobacco Free Baseball Act, would ban the use of tobacco products at all organized baseball games in all baseball stadiums in the state.
Although cigarette smoking in the U.S. has been on the decline, the latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the use of smokeless tobacco among youth has held steady since 1999. In 2013, 14.7 percent of high-school boys and 8.8 percent of all high-school students reported current use of smokeless tobacco products. Each year, about 535,000 kids age 12-17 use smokeless tobacco for the first time. California is home to five major league baseball teams in both leagues (Giants, Dodgers, A’s, Angels, and Padres). These players are role models for the millions of young people who watch baseball at the ballpark or on TV and often see players and managers using tobacco.
Unfortunately, the widespread use of chewing tobacco remains a serious stain on the game. It puts the health of players at risk and sets an awful example for young fans who idolize their favorite players and copy their every move.
AB 768 sends a simple and powerful message to kids: Sports and tobacco don’t mix. Sports, including baseball, should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product.
For these reason we support AB 768.
Chief Executive Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics, California