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Report: MLBPA won't ban smokeless tobacco; it's a 'personal choice'

Mark DeRosa uses smokeless tobacco prior to a 2011 game. The MLBA said on Tuesday that it won't ban the use of the product. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Mark DeRosa uses smokeless tobacco prior to a 2011 game. The MLBA said on Tuesday that it won't ban the use of the product.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday before this year's MLB All-Star Game, Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that the MLBPA will not ban the use of smokeless tobacco, reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.  

Clark said he thinks that using smokeless tobacco is a "personal choice" for players to make.

The use of smokeless tobacco has gained attention since the death of former San Diego Padres player Tony Gwynn​. Gwynn died from cancer that he attributed to his use of chewing tobacco (a diagnosis not all doctors agreed with).

Clark believes that usage has declined in recent years, and, according to Abraham, said that the MLBPA is taking additional steps to educate players on the dangers.

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Numerous players spoke about the habit following Gwynn's passing. Washington's Stephen Strasburg and Arizona's Addison Reed both publicly stated their intention to give it up. Gwynn had been their head coach at San Diego State.

- Aaron Somers

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