Can you chew at Safeco?

DMZ · September 17, 2007 at 9:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Legally, that is. Throwing this out to the hive mind: the M’s claim you can’t smoke or use chaw at Safeco Field (never you mind that wad Ibanez works over, spitting streams of brown goo):

In compliance with the Washington Clean Air Act, Safeco Field is a no smoking (including smokeless tobacco) facility.

Except that doesn’t seem to be right, as it’s not covered in the Washington Clean Air Act (Chapter 70.94 RCW).

They might mean Chapter 70.160 RCW, the “Smoking in public places (formerly Washington Clean Indoor Air Act)” but I don’t see anything in there about keeping people from enjoying a pinch of jaw cancer. In fact, the definitions seems to be pretty clear that it’s only smoking that’s banned.

Am I wrong? Is the team claiming that chew tobacco is banned by law as a matter of convenience? Or is this addressed someplace else I’m not seeing?


66 Responses to “Can you chew at Safeco?”

  1. msb on September 18th, 2007 10:11 am

    Tobacco Ban in Minors , June 3, 1993

    Major league baseball jumped on the anti-tobacco bandwagon yesterday — with one foot. It announced that all minor league players, coaches and umpires would be forbidden to smoke or chew tobacco anywhere in their ball parks or on team buses. The ban, which takes effect June 15, applies to more than 6,000 uniformed baseball personnel on the 160 minor league teams, but not to fans, employees of the clubs or to any major league players, including those sent down to the minors for rehabilitation. That’s because major leaguers have rights under a collective bargaining agreement. Under the new policy, which comes two years after chewing tobacco was banned in the lower minor leagues, violators will be subject to ejection and fines — ranging from $100 to $300 depending on the league level — for each offense.

  2. msb on September 18th, 2007 10:12 am


    Since its establishment in 1994, National Spit Tobacco Education Program has partnered with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), and Little League Baseball, Incorporated. In early 2000, NSTEP negotiated a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) and MLB Players Association to sponsor NSTEP Spring Training activities. At Spring Training, the program offered soft-tissue oral examinations, cessation counseling, and educational presentations on the causes and effects of oral cancer to Major League players and coaching staff. During the course of the 2000 season, NSTEP also brokered partnerships with Minor League Baseball and the Crown Council, a national organization of dental practitioners committed to promoting good oral health through community-based charitable activities. NSTEP and the Crown Council provides over 4000 Minor League ballplayers and staff with educational programming, oral examinations, and cessation counseling during Spring Training, effectively reinforcing Minor League Baseball’s tobacco-free policy (in place since 1993).

  3. Dylan on September 18th, 2007 10:13 am

    There may be a difference in what is allowed and what isn’t. Chew, as in Redman, creates enormous amounts of saliva and is usually stuck in the side of the cheek. Regular “dip”, as in Skoal, is usually put between the front gums and the lip and creates nowhere near the same amount of saliva, therefore causing less mess. I worked as an usher in Safeco for a couple years and there was never a mention of either of these, just smoking. I’ve dipped there before (as a fan, not an usher) with no problems. I don’t chew so I can’t speak for those who pack the big wads like Guillen does.

  4. dw on September 18th, 2007 10:24 am

    Given tobacco’s stimulant qualities, couldn’t chewing tobacco be considered a performance-enhancing drug?

  5. Joe on September 18th, 2007 10:28 am

    remember that ridiculous debacle over the “Yankees Suck!” t-shirts

    That’s why I have one of
    these. (Does anybody know if the “Sankees Yuck” or “Yuck the Fankees” ones cause a problem?)

    Great moments in Mariner history: Ron Guidry swallows his chaw and pukes on the mound in the Kingdome

    HEElarious. How did I miss that at the time? Do you know the date, or at least the year? Must’ve been those lost years in the 80s when I thought I was done with this frickin team….

  6. pumpkinhead on September 18th, 2007 10:28 am

    If you want to enhance the performance of the mutating cells…

  7. Dylan on September 18th, 2007 10:35 am

    Oh and just so you know, tobacco is also banned by the NCAA. This certainly didn’t prevent a single member of my football team or coaching staff from dipping before, after, during, on the bus, in practice, in front of the NCAA rules committee or in front of NCAA drug testers.

  8. kenshabby on September 18th, 2007 10:56 am

    A friend of mine was a big-time chewer in high school. He carried around empty Coke cans to use as spitoons. Once someone bet him $20 that he wouldn’t drink a can full of chew spittle. That someone lost the bet, and my friend miraculously didn’t violently retch after consuming a can-full of that toxic sludge.

    I chewed for a brief period in my early 20s, because a roommate chewed and I wanted to try it. The buzz was so massive it made me dizzy and I quit after a few weeks. I guess pro ballplayers have built up quite a resistance to the nicotine’s effects. Maybe if they want a safe stimulant + oral fixation they could suck on espresso popsicles.

  9. Tek Jansen on September 18th, 2007 10:58 am

    Sure, tobacco could be considered a PED, but since everyone in MLB is allowed to use it, at least in chew form, there is no competitive advantage. At least Guillen receives no advantage from chaw when facing a right-handed pitcher. The same goes for Ibanez facing lefties.

  10. The Ghost of Spike Owen on September 18th, 2007 1:45 pm

    I have never been hassled while chewing in the stands a Safeco. I make sure to have a spitter and always throw it away myself. i had to clean up too many other peoples’ spitters when I worked at a movie theater; I won’t ask some poor grounds crew kid to do it for me.

  11. Dave in Palo Alto on September 18th, 2007 2:12 pm

    # 54 — I’m pretty sure Guidry tossed five innings and his lunch in this 1978 game:

    Kind of an interesting box, actually. Goose Gossage relieved Gator in the 6th, and the M’s beat up on Gossage and Sparky Lyle. Jim Beattie pitched the 9th for NY.

    Enrique Romo, “Senor Smoke”, got the win to go 10 and 4, not bad for a team that would lose 104 games.

  12. msb on September 18th, 2007 4:09 pm

    The buzz was so massive it made me dizzy and I quit after a few weeks. I guess pro ballplayers have built up quite a resistance to the nicotine’s effects.

    according to the article in #19, it is harder to quit spit tobacco than smoking …

  13. Grizz on September 18th, 2007 5:31 pm

    Re: Yankees Suck. Actually, the team quietly backed off that policy after the possibility of a legal challenge was raised.

  14. StvB on September 18th, 2007 10:56 pm

    Re: #60

    Any topic that elicits mention of a member of the ’79 Pirates gets a big thumbs up from me!

  15. Typical Idiot Fan on September 18th, 2007 11:06 pm

    lol public health / clean air laws enforced at a stadium that sells garlic fries…

  16. go mariners go huskies on September 20th, 2007 12:34 am

    I have actually TALKED to ushers with a fatty chawski in my mouth and they seemed unfazed. I always have a spitter, it’s just common courtesy people!

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