Strasburg to give up chewing tobacco

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Stephen Strasburg, like his former college teammate Addison Reed, is giving up smokeless tobacco following the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

The Washington Nationals ace, who played for Gwynn at San Diego State, told MLB.com he will quit because of his young daughter.

"I think it's a disgusting habit, looking back on it," Strasburg said. "I was pretty naive when I started. Just doing it here and there, I didn't think it was going to be such an addiction. ... Bottom line is, I want to be around for my family. This is something that can affect people the rest of your life. [Chewing tobacco is] so prevalent in this game. It's something we all kind of grew up doing."

Strasburg said he picked up the habit long before arriving at San Diego State and added that he didn't know Gwynn had used smokeless tobacco during his playing days.

Gwynn, who played for the San Diego Padres during his 20-year career, died June 16 after battling cancer. He was 54.

He was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland in 2010 and publicly stated he believed it was caused by his smokeless tobacco use throughout his career.

Reed, Arizona's closer and another former San Diego State player, said Saturday he was giving up smokeless tobacco.

Related Video
MLB Needs To Ban Chewing Tobacco
MLB Needs To Ban Chewing Tobacco
The death of Tony Gwynn should open Major League Baseball up to an issue the minors figured out a while ago: banning chewing tobacco from the game. Keith Olbermann explains.
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