No one is saying big leaguers shouldn't have the same right as all citizens to enjoy a chew—and risk various oral cancers—on their own time. But just because an activity is legal doesn't mean it's ballpark appropriate. Players over 21 can drink beer, for example, but not in the dugout. Like it or not, athletes are role models, and with tobacco's dangers becoming clearer each day, it's time baseball spit out the chaw.
It's frightening to think Of a baseball ministry of health telling men what they may not put in their mouths. Today tobacco; tomorrow pork rinds? Don't legislate; educate. Require players to attend seminars. Put anti-tobacco signage in every stadium and youth-targeted PSAs on every broadcast. And no more stocking the clubhouse: Make the fools who use tobacco spring for it themselves.