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By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Tobacco may soon be snuffed out at all baseball parks in California, if a new bill introduced by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond wins approval in the California Legislature.

The bill is inspired in part by the death of former Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died of cancer related to his life-long habit of chewing tobacco. 

Tobacco is already banned at minor league ballparks.  Thurmond’s measure, if passed, would outlaw tobacco use at all baseball venues in the state—and anyone who violates the law would be cited—including major league ballplayers as well as fans.

The bill’s author says that kids and adults look up to major league ballplayers. “This is a way to help kids be safe and help protect athletes from future use,” he says, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Whether or not the bill will make it past first base or not in the Legislature, however, remains to be seen.  The tobacco industry, which is a major donor to legislative campaigns, is expected to throw its weight behind opposing the reforms.

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