St. Petersburg city council bans smokeless tobacco at Rays games


Smokless tobacco will no longer be allowed at Tampa Bay Rays games. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The St. Petersburg city council has given final approval to an ordinance banning use of smokeless tobacco products at organized sporting events, including baseball games at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The measure approved Thursday not only applies to players, coaches and managers, but anyone attending events at the sports venues around the city and is aimed at discouraging kids from using products such as chewing tobacco, snuff and dip.

Tropicana Field is among 13 major league stadiums that will be tobacco-free for the 2017 season, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. In addition, baseball’s new labour contract bars smokeless tobacco use for any player with no current major league service.

The St. Petersburg ordinance covers a wide range of sports and applies to all organized events and competition, amateur or professional.

Other communities where action has been taken to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco include New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Boston and Washington. Three others — Anaheim, Oakland and San Diego — are covered by a statewide law that is to take effect in California before the start of this season.

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