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Milwaukee to Ban Smokeless Tobacco at Sports Venues, Including Miller Park

Update, Nov. 22: Milwaukee's Common Council voted 14-1 today to ban smokeless tobacco at Miller Park and other sports venues in town. A release from the sponsor, Ald. Michael Murphy praised supporters of the legislation for helping protect children from a potentially-dangerous habit. "Smokeless tobacco contains at least 28 known carcinogens and causes oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer. The product also causes nicotine addiction and other serious health problems like gum disease, tooth decay and mouth lesions," Murphy said.

Following, is the original story from Nov. 10:

Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy says seven other cities have banned chewing tobacco at their professional sports stadiums - Chicago, San Francisco and Boston among them. His proposed ban would cover Miller Park and the Major League ballplayers who play games there.

Murphy says his plan is mainly about deterring children from adopting a potentially deadly habit - using a product known to cause cancer.

“Based on watching the Brewers and tuning to any average game, I see one or two players using chewing tobacco. We want to remove this as potential source where kids emulate the players chewing tobacco,” Murphy says.

Murphy says the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club endorses the idea. The team released a statement reading, "We fully support this initiative, and want to set an example for all Brewers fans in understanding the dangers of smokeless tobacco.”

Under Murphy's proposal, people who violate the ban could be fined $250. It would apply to all sports facilities in the city, including high schools gyms, and it would be enforced on the entire premises – meaning parking lots where people tailgate.

Murphy says two groups approached him about proposing the legislation - the American Lung Association and Cancer Free America.

The Alderman delivered his plan to the Common Council's Public Safety Committee on Thursday morning.