Durbin Urges MLB To Ban All Tobacco Use

Brian Kelly/Brett Blume

WASHINGTON, DC (KMOX) –  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says whether they like it or not, professional athletes are role models for kids everywhere.

 That’s why the Illinois Democrat says it’s a big problem any time a Major Leaguer is caught on camera spitting out a big stream of tobacco juice.

“I will tell you that the one group of Americans who are using tobacco more than ever are high school boys,” Durbin tells KMOX News.  “And when you trace it, it turns out it’s because their sports heroes, those baseball players — one out of three of them — use smokeless or spit tobacco.”

Durbin, along with fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, are now calling on baseball commissioner Bug Selig to ban tobacco use in the Majors, as it was in the minor leagues decades ago.

In a letter sent to MLB headquarters, Senators Durbin and Lautenberg write, “Tobacco-related products kill 443,000 Americans every year, and each day 1,000 American children and teenagers become new regular smokers.

“Smokeless tobacco causes cancers of the stomach, larynx, esophagus, oral cancer — which can require disfiguring surgery — and pancreatic cancer. one of the deadliest forms of cancer.  The use of smokeless tobacco is also linked to cardiovascular disease, gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth lesions.”

They sent a separate letter to Washington Senators pitching phenom Steven Strasburg, commending him for his public resolution to quit using smokeless tobacco, saying that will send a positive message to America’s youth.

Copyright KMOX Radio

  • L. B.

    Of course MLB should ban tobacco use. It contains nicotine which is a stimulant (a performance enhancing drug). You don’t even have to play the “role model for kids” angle.

    • Dave

      Should they ban caffeine (a stimulant) too?

  • K. E.

    Can you believe this joke for a politican? If he really wants to save 443,000 American lives each year, then he would introduce a bill to ban all tobacco products in the U.S. Instead, he wants to beat up on MLB to say they are doing enough. Well Mr. Durbin, you are the one that isn’t doing enough. Why don’t you get back to work on the Federal Budget deficit?

  • Troy Duran

    They should ban beer too. And baseball bats- I hear those kill people… Oh and that drunk hoosier guy with the plumbers crack who ALWAYS sits in front of me. He doesn’t kill anyone, but it hurts to look at that.

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