Former Major League Baseball pitcher and oral cancer survivor Curt Schilling is supporting a Boston proposal to ban smokeless tobacco in public and private sports venues used by both amateurs and professionals.
Schilling has joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and city health officials to support a proposed ordinance to ban smokeless tobacco in sports venues in the city such as Fenway Park. If enacted, the ordinance would become effective April 1, 2016, and any person found in violation will be fined $250 per offense.
"I am in support of banning any kind of tobacco at Fenway Park or in any public location," Schilling stated in a City of Boston release. "I have seen cancer take the lives of people very important to me like my father, a lifelong smoker, and I have endured the insufferable agony of radiation to the head/neck. If this law stops just one child from starting, it's worth the price. Because that child could be yours, or mine."
Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said baseball should be about promoting a healthy lifestyle.
"Our national pastime should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product," Myers stated in the release.
Nationally 14.7% of high school boys and 8.8% of all high school students reported using smokeless products in 2013, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures. The CDC reported that each year about 535,000 children ages 12 to 17 use smokeless tobacco for the first time.