City Council Bans Smokeless Tobacco at Fenway Park, All Ballfields

Boston becomes the second city in America to institute such a ban.

Fenway photo uploaded by Robert Linsdell on flickr

Fenway Photo by Robert Lindsell on Flickr/Creative Commons

The City Council unanimously approved Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposed ban on smokeless tobacco in the city’s ballfields, including Fenway Park.

The ban on “cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco and is intended to be placed in the oral or nasal cavity” will apply to professional, collegiate, high school, or organized amateur sporting events. It will also require “conspicuous signs” in dugouts, bullpens, training rooms, locker rooms, press boxes, television and radio broadcast booths, and bathrooms.

“I commend the Boston City Council on passing the ordinance banning smokeless tobacco at sports venues in Boston. This is another step in the right direction to achieving a healthy Boston where we set a positive example for our young people,” Walsh said in a statement Wednesday. “The consequences of smokeless tobacco are real and can be devastating. We’re doing the right thing for our children and I look forward to continuing on the path to making Boston a leader in healthy and active living.”

The ban will go into effect April 1, 2016, making Boston the second major city to prohibit smokeless tobacco from its ballparks after San Francisco, which did so in May. Violators will be subject to a $250 fine.

“This is a huge victory for kids. It sets an example for the rest of the country that our National Pastime should be about promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, not a deadly and addictive product,” Kevin O’Flaherty, director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Baseball, said in an email to supporters.