As of 2012, big-league players, managers, and coaches will no longer be able to carry a tobacco tin or package in their uniforms at games, or any time that fans are in the ballpark. Players are not to use tobacco during any team-sponsored event where fans are present.
The Humboldt Crabs and Tobacco-Free Humboldt are challenging all local youth sports leagues to clearly define their rules on tobacco use. Many playing fields have “Tobacco-free Zone” signs posted. Our concern is that many leagues don’t have a clear policy about tobacco use. The goal is to ensure that all youth sport events are free from exposure to tobacco.
”The Crabs are excited to see tobacco-use prevention extend from the professional and collegiate level to the youth level,” said Crabs manager Matt Nutter. “It is an important health issue and we hope that all who participate in youth sports, young and old, will foster a tobacco-free recreation environment and lifestyle.”
The Humboldt Crabs went tobacco-free in 2005, during its 61st season. Partnering with Tobacco Free Humboldt, the team adopted some strong no-tobacco practices including a team policy that prohibits all tobacco industry advertising or sponsorship, and a no-tobacco-use policy for the whole team and baseball park.
Sport and recreation programs provide an opportunity to promote all aspects of healthy living, including being tobacco-free. Nearly 90 percent of adult smokers began by age 18. One of the best ways to reduce tobacco use is to prevent young people from starting.
Tobacco Free Humboldt and the Humboldt Crabs believe that youth recreation activities help promote the well-being of our youth. Together they encourage local leagues to be sure tobacco use is kept off the fields, sidelines, and concession stands to protect the health of Humboldt youth and families, as well as to set a good example.
Tobacco Free Humboldt is available to assist leagues in developing tobacco-free policies for leagues, to serve as the main resource for handling questions or complaints, and to provide educational materials on the harms of tobacco-use and cigarette litter, as well as resources to help people quit tobacco.
For more information, call Denise George, health educator, Tobacco Free Humboldt, at (707) 441-5574.