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MLB Commissioner Wants Chewing Tobacco Banned

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been part of the game since it was invented.

Chewing tobacco is widely used by professional baseball players and now, as Mike Schuh reports, the commissioner wants to get it out of the game.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wants chewing tobacco out of the baseball stadium. He wants it off the field and out of the dugouts and bullpens.

Orioles player Mark Reynolds chews during games and says it’s a hard habit to kick—even though it’s proven to be dangerous.

It bears repeating that it causes cancer, tooth decay, gum disease, high blood pressure and nicotine addiction.

One couple knows all about nicotine, a habit so hard to break that it doesn’t need any endorsements from baseball players.

“You know, it’s a good thing because a lot of these kids look up to them and want to be like them when they grow up,” said OJ Ornelas.

“So, clearly, a matter of that’s who they want to be so they’re going to…do that same thing,” said Marshall Debeal, O’s fan.

One fan wants it out of baseball, as he does think it influences his son, James.

“It’s cancer-causing and life-threatening,” said James Deus, who’s 11.

An addiction specialist wishes more kids would remember that once they become adults.

“But what I think what the commissioner is saying and doing is, much like what was done with steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, is that we have a responsibility to kids and part of that responsibility is being better role models,” said Mike Gimbel, St. Joseph Hospital.

The Orioles haven’t taken a position on the ban and say they’ll talk when there is something more concrete to say.

Any change to the league’s chewing tobacco policy has to be approved by the players’ union, which is against the idea.

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