Tony Gwynn was a great baseball player and, by all accounts, an even better person. He’s also the latest professional athlete that we lost way too soon because of smokeless tobacco. Gwynn was 54 years-old when he died this week. Gwynn’s death served as a reminder of the often overlooked dangers of smokeless tobacco and has rekindled a debate on whether or not Major League Baseball should ban the product. Smokeless tobacco is taking away too many of our sports heroes
There’s a long list of athletes who have died because of smokeless tobacco; guys like Babe Ruth, who was a shell of himself in his final years because of cancer caused by his tobacco habit. Some are still fighting the battle; like Jim Kelley, Curt Schilling and Donnie Walsh, just to name few.
Here’s the thing. Don’t do smokeless tobacco. Just don’t. This stuff is really prevalent in our state, especially among young males. The worst part is, a lot of people probably don’t realize how dangerous this smokeless tobacco is. At the very least, educate yourself about the risks involved with the product. Catherine Warner is the Outreach Coordinator for the DHEC Division of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control. She joined us in the SportsTalk studios to shed some light on this issue. We’ve posted the full interview for you below. Also, if you want more information you can check out their website here. If you need help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.