Taking on Big Tobacco

Today, almost everyone is aware of how dangerous tobacco is. However, what many may not realize is that while smokeless tobacco may be less lethal than tobacco that is smoked, it still presents a major health risk. The problem is that the big tobacco companies continue to market smokeless tobacco as an alternative that can be used to get a nicotine fix where smoking is prohibited. Despite knowing how dangerous tobacco is, big tobacco continually denies their culpability and instead blames the user for becoming addicted to their deadly products.

Tobacco Companies and Baseball

Consider if you will, the sport of baseball. The use of smokeless tobacco by baseball players is nothing new. The problem is that tobacco has been a part of the baseball culture for decades with the companies tying-in their products along with baseball gear, equipment and promotional items for fans. Now some stadiums are banning the use of smokeless tobacco by both fans and baseball players.

Fighting Big Tobacco

Tony Gwynn was a San Diego Padres Baseball Hall of Famer who began using smokeless tobacco as a student at San Diego State University in the early 1980s. Gwynn used up to two cans a day of smokeless tobacco for 31 years. That amount is considered equal to as if he had smoked four to five packs of cigarettes a day for those 31 years.

Gwynn passed away from salivary gland cancer in 2014. His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Altria Group Ltd., formerly known as Philip Morris that accused the tobacco giant of unfairly targeting Gwynn early on in his career where he became addicted to its smokeless tobacco.

John Power, a wrongful death attorney in Chicago believes it is time to take a stand and demand that big tobacco pay up. According to Power, “Despite knowing how dangerous their products are; big tobacco still finds ways to entice people to use their product. The tobacco companies need to be held accountable for the deaths they continue to cause.”