If Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has his way, smokeless tobacco will be a thing of the past in the Major Leagues once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is settled.
Dip and chew, banned in the Minors since 1993, currently are permissible in Major League clubhouses. Selig said in a letter to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on Thursday that he wants tobacco banned in the Majors, too. To take that step, he'll need agreement from the Major League Baseball Players Association.
"In the current round of bargaining with the MLBPA, MLB will propose restrictions on the use of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level comparable to the restrictions in place at the Minor League level," Selig wrote.
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said in February that he expected the subject to be raised in talks. The current CBA expires in December.
"I'm not going to make any predictions about where we're going to go with it, but I do expect it to be an issue," Weiner said.
Public health officials from 15 Major League cities sent a letter to Selig's office this winter, and just last month, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois sent a letter to Selig and Weiner calling for a ban.
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.