The World Series contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers is underway, but the World Series been used as a opportunity for politicians to advocate another contest – smokeless tobacco. Before the start of this week’s first game a number of Democratic senators sent a letter urging the Major League Baseball Players Association to agree to ban tobacco during the World Series. The Democratic senators sending the letter included Richard Durbin (Illinois), Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), Tom Harkin (Iowa), and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), who requested that no tobacco be used in the dugout, on the field and even in the locker room. The senators even requested that the players union raise and address the issue of tobacco when it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement in December. According to the letter, “[t]his would send a strong message to young baseball fans, who look toward the players as role models, that tobacco use is not essential to the sport of baseball.”
As federal, state and local governments increase their focus on the sale and use of tobacco, the Troutman Sanders Tobacco practice will continue to monitor developments in this area.
Contributor: John Costello