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Religious Leaders Call a Strike On Tobacco

c. 2011 Religion News Service
(RNS) Religious leaders are hoping to hit a home run in a campaign to get Major League Baseball players to ban tobacco use on fields and dugouts of the national pastime.

More than two dozen members of the coalition group Faith United Against Tobacco wrote May 30 to Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, focusing on the hazards of smokeless tobacco.

“What players do on their own time is their business, but what they do when they are in uniform and on camera is all of ours, especially considering what’s at stake,” wrote the leaders, citing increased use of smokeless tobacco by high school boys, and players who have been sickened or killed after dipping or chewing tobacco.


Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has proposed that smokeless tobacco be banned just as it has been in the minor leagues; the proposed ban has already drawn support from politicians and medical groups.

Weiner has said the issue would be part of collective bargaining talks this year, but has called smokeless tobacco a legal substance that does not have the secondary health risks of cigarette smoke.

Leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations see baseball players’ role-model status as the biggest risk for young people.

“When the cameras are rolling and they zoom in on a player, the last thing we want our kids to see is a big wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek or under his lip, as if he’s an advertising spokesman for deadly tobacco,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    This is good; there are a lot of harmful things these religious leaders might be doing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    I find it hard to understand how tobacco is legal or the practices behind tobacco selling. To be able to sell such a substance in one thing but to be able to add chemicals that are designed to hook people quickly is not only immoral but should be illegal. Any other drug agencies that would do such a thing they would be out of business so fast but not big tobacco. Considering what level of killer tobacco is why is it still legal to sell and market, market meaning to trick or entice innocent folk to pick up cigarettes and begin a lifelong bad habit.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude


    People can quit smoking at any time if they choose to quit.
    Liberals activists wants to ban smoking, even in outdoor places.
    To me. Smoking is far less dangerous and deadly than alcohol and illicit drugs. we have got our priorities mixed up. Drugs and alcohol
    can the minds to be altered. I rather someone use tobacco products than illegal drugs and alcohol. It is time to fight the true enemy. is a liberal anti smoking propaganda machine. Never mind about dying of cancer. We all will die anyway. Why all the hubbub over the smoking issue. I will smoke my cigar when I get home. Have a great day. Y’all!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    We tried banning alcohol and it failed terribly. We tried banning “hard” drugs and that has failed terribly and costs us a fortune in keeping people in jails and is costing countries south of us their civilizations. We really need to legalize certain drugs (I’ll leave which ones to people with some expertise) and tax them.

    I’m glad smoking is banned in most public places; that makes them a lot more pleasant for us to be in and safer. But I wouldn’t try to ban tobacco – that would be as much a failure as banning alcohol and drugs has been.

    And what about all those people complaining about a “nanny state”? Why aren’t they trying to get more drugs legalized? Is it possible the people pulling their strings get a lot of money out of those drugs being illegal.

    If marijuana is legalized not just crooks will make money on marijuana.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    GD so you are saying that cigarette smoking is not responsible for more deaths than drinking, drugs, and car accidents combined? You are saying you feel perfectly comfortable in smoking your “cigar” in the same room with your kids or grandkids or someone else’s kid? So you are saying that tobacco companies do not add chemicals in tobacco to manipulate your addiction? Well keep saying that if it makes you justified for stinking up and fouling up the air in and around you.
    nnmns you are right banning is not the answer education is though and living well, if a person lives a good life they generally want to extend that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment getmebrian

    Georgia Dude: With respect, you are incorrect in your facts. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and around the world.

    It isn’t a liberal site or concocted statistic. Even conservative George Will’s statement that: “Every year tobacco kills more Americans than did World War II — more than AIDS, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, vehicular accidents, homicide and suicide combined” was evaluated as TRUE at

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Watching baseball players with a wad in their mouth is just plain sickning. Spitting and chewing is so gross. Doesn’t the “smokeless” tobacco cause mouth cancer? That isn’t as serious as what 2nd hand smoke does? Of course it is.

    Apparently the minor leagues have banned the players from using the tobacco during games so why can’t the major leagues do so? Seems logical to me,

  • http://; Georgia Dude

    Gertmebrian: Thanks for your input on the subject, since everybody is having a smoking phobia. Can you tell us how many women and children died from being abused and killed by drunken and enraged men? How high is the deaths of those whom uave overdosed on legal and illegal drugs? Perhaps you and others can answer these questions

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    GD more importantly

    Smoking Deaths Cost U.S. $92 Billion a Year
    Total costs, including health care, more than $167 billion yearly


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Maybe we should ask Brazil what they do about smoking? They are leading the world in how to take care of HIV/AIDS, according to what I read today.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    If we simply eleminated the subsidies to the tobacco industry we would be ahead of the game.

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