Addison Reed: Arizona Diamondbacks Closer Quits Chewing Tobacco, Citing Tony Gwynn

Addison Reed is giving up chewing tobacco, and the Arizona Diamondbacks closer said the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is what inspired him into action.

Gwynn died last week after a battle with mouth cancer. The Padres legend had used smokeless tobacco throughout his life, as a large number of MLB players from his era had.

Reed, who played for Gwynn at San Diego State, said his coach’s death made him realize it was time to quit.

“It’s one of those things where I’ve done it for so long it’s just become a habit, a really bad habit,” Reed said Saturday,via “It was something I always told myself I would quit, like next month, and the next thing you know it’s been six or seven years.”

Addison Reed said he had been using tobacco since he was a junior in high school, and the problem grew worse as he got older.

“It started to get bad my first year in pro ball and it’s one of those things where I’ve always done it,” Reed said. “I’d come to the field and throw one in and have multiple ones. I’d have one on the ride home, one on the way to the field and it was one of those things where I always had one with me.”

Major League Baseball has placed strict restrictions on smokeless tobacco, regulating when players are allowed to use it or even be seen with it, but has stopped short of an outright ban. Many believe the death of Tony Gywnn could not prompt the league into taking more measures against its use in the game.

But as SB Nation writer Mike Bates notes, it may be difficult to rid it from the game entirely.

He wrote:

Smokeless tobacco use has been part of baseball since the mid nineteenth century, and is ingrained into the culture of the game. Tobacco advertising has only been kicked out of the stadiums recently… The minor leagues have instituted a ban on tobacco use across every level and every league in organized ball, with fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, but it’s almost never enforced by coaches, umpires, or league officials. In two years as a clubhouse manager in the New York-Penn League, I saw more than my share of dip, including the wintergreen-flavored Skole that I was made to buy for members of the club’s coaching staff. Of course, the Major League BaseballPlayers Association has refused to authorize a similar ban at the major-league level, where it would presumably be policed more heavily.

Even if MLB does not institute a ban on smokeless tobacco, at least Tony Gywnn’s death has helped one person. Addison Reed said he threw away seven cans of smokeless tobacco from his locker and another two from his car, and is now ready to quit cold turkey.

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