Wednesday April 22nd, 2015

The city of San Francisco is one step closer to becoming the first city in the United States to ban chewing tobacco from all its playing fields, reports the Associated Press.

San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco at any athletic venues.

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The city now prohibits any kind of smoking at sports arenas, fields, parks and stadiums.

A more comprehensive bill that will outlaw any kind of tobacco use wherever an organized game of baseball is played in California is making the rounds through the state assembly.

The bill would take effect on Jan. 1 if it is passed through a formal vote, which is expected to take place next week.

California has five major-league baseball stadiums, but the bill also covers minor-league parks, college and high school fields and games that are "played in connection with an established league or other association of persons."

Smokeless tobacco is already banned in the minor leagues. MLB players and coaches are not allowed to chew tobacco during interviews and can’t carry tobacco while wearing a uniform when fans are inside the stadium.

"To force a ban, that’s going to be difficult," San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said to the San Francisco Chronicle in February. "I’ll say that. [Quitting] is something you have to want to do. I know baseball is doing a great job of trying to keep these guys from doing chewing or dipping. I’m guilty. It’s part of the the game I grew up with."

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Jess Montejano, an aide to Mark Farrell who is the chief sponsor of the legislation, was asked if a player or coach would be kicked out of the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco if they were in violation of the bill.

“We would hope it doesn't come to that," Montejano said, "and that the league would work to educate players coming to AT&T Park."

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