BOSTON & LOS ANGELES — Don’t try enjoying a dip of smokeless tobacco at a Boston Red Sox home game next season, whether a player or spectator, unless you’re prepared to pay a hefty fine. The city has banned smokeless tobacco use in the ballpark beginning April 1, 2016, and Los Angeles is well on the way to doing the same.
Boston joined San Francisco this week in banning smokeless tobacco products in athletic facilities when Mayor Marty Walsh signed an ordinance Wednesday prohibiting the use of tobacco and other tobacco products at baseball parks, from Fenway Park to smaller sports venues.
The ordinance defines smokeless tobacco as any product that contains cut, ground, powdered or leaf tobacco meant to be put in your mouth or nose, according to a Boston Globe report. That means no snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, dissolvable tobacco products or snus.
Violators face a $250 fine.
Los Angeles City Council members, meanwhile, took a strong first step Tuesday toward striking smokeless tobacco out of all sports venues in the city.
A motion to ban the use of chewing tobacco and snuff, introduced in June by Councilman Jose Huizar, passed 14-0. It called for the city attorney to draft an ordinance to cover all venues within the city where any organized sport, amateur or professional, is played, including Dodger Stadium.
The council will take a final vote on the measure once the city attorney’s office has prepared the ordinance, which the lawmakers asked for within 30 days. The measure would apply to players, fans and anyone in a sports venue.
It’s expected to be implemented by January, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
“Today, the city of Los Angeles joins the ranks of San Francisco and Boston in what is becoming a national effort to knock tobacco out of the park,” Huizar said in a statement. “Smokeless tobacco use in the great American pastime is way past its time. The time to act is now to save others, particularly our young people, from an extremely addictive and potentially deadly product.”
The city already has in place similar bans on smoking and e-cigarettes.
Earlier this year, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed an ordinance eliminating smokeless tobacco at the city’s athletic fields, making it the first city in the nation to enact such a restriction.