I recently come across an interesting topic in the news about baseball and chewing tobacco. Starting this 2012 baseball season, baseball players, managers, and coaches can not carry tobacco tins or packages in their uniforms any time that patrons are in the ballpark. They also have been restricted from use of smokeless tobacco during any televised interviews or any events where they are in contact with fans. This includes team-sponsored events and autograph signings. This was accomplished by much lobbying by various senators and health groups. Although, they have not banned the use of chewing tobacco during games and events they have been able to make a step in the right direction by eliminating tins and packages.
Smokeless tobacco can have many detrimental dental and overall health effects. Studies have found that between 60-78% of smokeless tobacco users have lesions in their mouths which may or may not be precancerous or cancerous. Besides the risk for oral cancer smokeless tobacco users often have an increased risk of cavities, receding gums and root surface exposure which can increase sensitivity to hot and cold.
According to statistics provided by the organizations lobbying to remove chewing tobacco use in front of baseball fans, they found that “There has been a 36% increase in the use of smokeless tobacco by high school boys since 2003, with 15% of all high school boys using it. The major leaguers who use it during games “are providing a celebrity endorsement for these products” . By decreasing the exposure of our youths to smokeless tobacco, whether it be by the media or by their family and peers, we can help reduce their chances of beginning a harmful habit that can increase their risk for oral cancer.