San Francisco Bans Tobacco Products in Athletic Fields

June 30, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. ordinance / ˈɔr dn əns / (n.) – a policy implemented in a town or city
Example: The new city ordinance prohibits smoking in schools.

2. smokeless / ˈsmoʊk lɪs / (adj.) – not generating smoke
Example: Smokeless cigarettes are available in my store.

3. influence / ˈɪn flu əns / (v.) – to prompt or motivate a person to do something
Example: Dan was heavily influenced by his father’s smoking habit.

4. franchise / ˈfræn tʃaɪz / (n.) – a member of a sports league
Example: The team is a franchise of the Major Baseball League.

5. stimulate / ˈstɪm yəˌleɪt / (v.) – to encourage something to occur or happen
Example: Some studies say that chewing gum stimulates blood flow to the brain.


Read the text below.
Tobacco chewing will no longer be allowed inside baseball venues in San Francisco starting January 1, 2016.

This is after Mayor Ed Lee signed an ordinance that bans using tobacco products in all athletic fields in the city. The ordinance, which was approved by all members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, specifically targets baseball as its players are known for chewing smokeless tobacco.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has pushed this ordinance to prevent children who watch baseball from seeing athletes chew smokeless tobacco. A study from the University of California suggested that letting players chew on tobacco can be a form of promoting the product. In fact, the study revealed that adolescent males are influenced to try smokeless tobacco when they see elite athletes use the product.

The San Francisco Giants, a professional baseball franchise based in the city, supports the ordinance. However, the manager of the Giants is worried about how players will manage to give up the habit of chewing tobacco.

Chewing tobacco became popular among baseball players in the mid-19th century. During that time, baseball players discovered that chewing tobacco stimulates the production of saliva, which prevents their mouths from being dry throughout the game.

Because of the severe health effects of chewing tobacco, minor baseball leagues banned it in June 1993. However, the ban could not be implemented in major leagues, as it would require a mutual agreement between the Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of San Francisco’s new ordinance? Why or why not?
·         Do you think all baseball players in San Francisco will comply with the ordinance? Why?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that athletes have that much influence on people? Why is that so?
·         What other bad habits should athletes stop doing?

June 30, 2015