HarbourCats hit a homerun with tobacco-free partnership

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Island Health, HarbourCats team up to stop use of smokeless tobacco

VICTORIA – Island Health and the Victoria HarbourCats baseball club are teaming up to knock chewing tobacco out of the park this summer, educating youth, players and fans about the benefits of tobacco free sports – especially  the dangers of smokeless tobacco products.   

Known as “chew,” “dip,” or “snuff,” chewing tobacco is a type of smokeless tobacco product consumed by approximately 8% of Canadians, 15 and older. People who use chewing tobacco are 50% more likely to acquire mouth cancers compared to those who do not use.

Island Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program will provide an in-service educational training program for youth attending baseball camps with the team throughout the summer. The partnership also features tobacco-free promotions at each home game in Victoria, including video messages recorded by members of the team.

The HarbourCats’ commitment to keep dip and chew out of the park will help players stay healthy, and sends a positive message to young fans who are watching from the stands, says Dr. Murray Fyfe, Island Health’s Medical Health Officer. 

“We’re rooting for the HarbourCats to have a very successful season and we’re thrilled to partner with the team to promote a sport that is free from the harms of tobacco,” Dr. Fyfe says. “They know, as we do, that tobacco – especially chewing tobacco – is a guaranteed strikeout. Tobacco has no place in the great game of baseball.”

Chewing tobacco has more than 3,000 chemicals with 28 known carcinogens. Each tin of chewing tobacco contains the same amount of nicotine as 60 cigarettes. Using eight to 10 chews per day delivers the same amount of nicotine as a smoker who smokes 30 to 40 cigarettes per day. 

HarbourCats’ General Manager Brad Norris-Jones welcomes this new partnership, saying it’s a win-win for players and fans alike

“Chewing tobacco does not improve player’s performance. In fact, chewing during the game is completely outlawed in our league,” he says. “Players who chew tobacco can have a negative impact on youth watching the game. Through this partnership we are saying that this practice is no longer an acceptable part of playing baseball.”

Learn more:

For information on B.C.’s Smoking Cessation Program, walk into any pharmacy or visit:www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/stop-smoking/

Need some support as you try to quit tobacco? For information, tips, and free coaching from a trained quit coach, visit: www.quitnow.ca.

 

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