Congressman to hold hearing into baseball and chewing tobacco

A Democratic member of Congress next week is holding a hearing into baseball players' use of chewing tobacco.


Chewing tobacco has long been used by players both in the dugout and on the field, but there have been recent calls to tamp it down because of the health risks posed by the product, such as oral cancer.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who helms the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, said that the practice provides a poor example to young people who are baseball fans.

The congressman tweeted Thursday:

Next Wed. I am holding a hearing in the health sub about @MLB players' use of chewing tobacco & its influence on the health of young people

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona famously said he would quit using chewing tobacco several seasons ago after his team was cited as one of the most pervasive users of the product.

"Chewing tobacco has traditionally been associated with baseball so a better understanding of its usage by players will help us gauge the best ways to protect young people against any potential health problems, Pallone said in a statement.

A list of participants at the hearing has not yet been released. Major League Baseball has not responded to requests for comment.

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room

Updated at 2:54 p.m.

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