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Mayor Walsh Signs Ordinance Banning Smokeless Tobacco At All Boston Sports Venues

Chewing tobacco, seen here in this 2011 photo, has been a nearly two-century-old habit of many baseball players on the field and in the dugout. Boston passed a citywide ordinance banning all smokeless tobacco products from its sporting venues, effective on April 1, 2016. (Jim Mone/AP)closemore
Chewing tobacco, seen here in this 2011 photo, has been a nearly two-century-old habit of many baseball players on the field and in the dugout. Boston passed a citywide ordinance banning all smokeless tobacco products from its sporting venues, effective on April 1, 2016. (Jim Mone/AP)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh signed an ordinance Wednesday banning smokeless tobacco like dip, snuff and chewing tobacco at all city sports venues -- both professional and amateur.

The ban includes Fenway Park, where for decades beloved baseball players have sat and spat dip and other such products in the dugout.

The ordinance, which goes into effect April 1, 2016, carries a $250 fine per offense.

According to a statement from the city, those managing the venues will be primarily responsible for enforcing the ban. Signs will be posted all around venues — from entrances to bullpens and press boxes — notifying players and patrons of the rule change.


The ordinance was backed by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who appeared alongside Walsh in early August as the mayor proposed the new measure.

Schilling revealed earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with mouth cancer, which he believes is linked to his use of chewing tobacco.

Boston is the second U.S. city to enact a ban on smokeless tobacco products, after San Francisco.

"With this decisive action, Boston hits a homerun for baseball, cancer prevention and public health," Dr. Howard Koh, of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in the statement.

Walsh signed the ordinance at Hemenway Park in Dorchester.

Earlier Coverage:

Lisa Creamer Digital Producer
Lisa Creamer is a digital producer at WBUR.

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