San Francisco made history last week when its mayor signed a ban on smokeless tobacco at all sporting venues in the city, including Major League Baseball’s new AT&T Park, home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Although this move is remarkable, it may be followed by an even more comprehensive ban that is currently being considered in the California Assembly.

A Dangerous Tradition

Chewing TobaccoFor many people and players, chewing tobacco is considered a critical part of the game. chewing or dipping tobacco has been common among players since the origins of the sport.

However, as we have become aware of the negative consequences of tobacco use, including dipping, such as oral cancer and gum disease, leading to tooth loss and dental implant failure, the practice has come under increasing criticism.

This criticism has gained momentum following the death of a local baseball star, Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, from salivary cancer last year. It is believed his smokeless tobacco habit contributed to his cancer development.

It is argued that allowing smokeless tobacco at games doesn’t just hurt the players, but hurts kids who look up to the players and might be influenced to try smokeless tobacco as a result.

The ban takes effect January 1, 2016.

A More Comprehensive Ban

However, it’s not just San Francisco’s ballparks that may soon be free of chewing tobacco. The California Assembly is currently considering a ban on smokeless tobacco at all California Major League Baseball parks. The ban, introduced by a California Assembly member from Richmond, would ban all tobacco use at all Major League Baseball parks in the state. This includes smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, in addition to smoking, which has already been banned by Major League Baseball.

This law is part of a larger project by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which hopes to introduce similar laws across the country.

With the serious oral health effects from chewing tobacco, it’s good to see that this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves.

If you have experienced receding gums as a result of chewing tobacco use, we can help with gum grafts that restore your smile to its youthful appearance. Please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with Beverly Hills periodontist Dr. Nicolas Ravon today.