"It's time that we act:" Alderman proposes smokeless tobacco ban at Miller Park, other sports venues

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy has proposed a "smokeless tobacco ban" at Miller Park and other sports venues, according to a news release.

The proposal will be discussed Thursday morning during a meeting of the Milwaukee Common Council's Public Safety Committee.

“I welcome members of the public to attend our hearing this Thursday to discuss my proposed smokeless tobacco ban in Milwaukee. It’s time that we act on warnings from our public health experts and join other cities in this ban," Murphy said in the statement.

According to the statement, the proposed ordinance would ban the use of smokeless tobacco at all sporting venues throughout the city of Milwaukee. It would especially affect MLB players with fines up to $250 for using smokeless tobacco at Miller Park.

According to the release, Milwaukee Brewers officials have said this about the proposal: “We fully support this initiative, and want to set an example for all Brewers fans in understanding the dangers of smokeless tobacco.”

Public health experts – including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. National Cancer Institute and World Health Organization – have all concluded that smokeless tobacco use is dangerous, the release states. Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 known carcinogens and causes oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer. The product also causes nicotine addiction and other serious health problems like gum disease, tooth decay and mouth lesions.

According to the release, this proposed legislation follows a national trend. A number of other cities, including San Francisco, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have already banned smokeless tobacco at ballparks. A statewide law in California will take effect before the 2017 season, and once all of these laws are implemented, at least one-third of Major League stadiums will be tobacco-free.