Montero is OK with smokeless tobacco ban

Cubs catcher hopes new Chicago ordinance will help him kick habit

Montero is OK with smokeless tobacco ban

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cubs catcher Miguel Montero believes Chicago's new ordinance banning chewing tobacco at baseball stadiums could help him quit the habit.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston already have bans on chewing tobacco in place. Smokeless-tobacco use has been banned in the Minor Leagues since June 15, 1993.

"It is what it is. You can't really control that," Montero said. "For me, I dip and I do see that it probably would help me to quit. It's a really bad habit to have. Obviously, I really don't know because we are adults and know what is good and what is bad. But a rule is a rule and you have to follow the rules."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he would advise his players to obey the new rule, although he is not in favor of the ordinance. The manager, who quit chewing tobacco 15 years ago, said he is "into personal freedoms."

"I know the pitfalls," Maddon said. "But I'm into education. Educate the masses and let everybody make their own decisions. That's what I'm about. Inherently, that's what I'm about. To tell me what I can and cannot do as an adult, unless it's illegal, is something different. So that's where I stand."

Cubs starter John Lackey echoed his manager's sentiments.

"I don't dip," Lackey said. "We are grown men. I don't know about all that. People in the stands can have a beer, but we can't do what we want? That's a little messed up."

As for Montero, he said he has been using tobacco since the Minor Leagues and has tried to quit in the past.

"It's going to be hard because you are an addict, pretty much. It's going to be tough to quit cold turkey," he said. "Hopefully, I can quit that, too."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.