High Point University professor organizes coalition aimed at getting Major League Baseball players to stop using smokeless tobacco on field, in front of television cameras

HIGH POINT, North Carolina , October 25, 2011 (press release) – High Point University professor Ted Eaves has organized leading tobacco researchers from across the country to support the coalition to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park - a national campaign aimed at getting Major League Baseball players to stop using smokeless tobacco on the field and in front of television cameras.

Eaves, an instructor in the Department of Exercise Science at HPU, has performed research over the years on the use of chewing tobacco in baseball. Most recently, he studied the use of chewing tobacco by North Carolina high school baseball coaches, and the effect this has among boys on their teams.

In the weeks leading up to the World Series, which began on Oct. 19, Eaves contacted all of the major tobacco use and baseball researchers across the country and asked them to sign a letter to Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, explaining the negative effects that big-league players can have on children when they use smokeless tobacco on camera. The researchers' letter was sent to the players union with the goal of getting the players to agree to a prohibition on tobacco use in the 2012 contract.

"Baseball players are heroes to children who grow up watching them on the screen and dreaming of being like them someday," said Eaves. "But as we all know, research shows that chewing tobacco has just as many harmful side effects as cigarettes. This project was important to me because our children should grow up as healthy as possible while still being able to enjoy America's favorite past time."

The coalition, also led in part by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, includes more than 200 public officials and public health groups, notable baseball figures, youth leagues, faith leaders and others. The North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association is among the official supporters.

For more information, visit http://www.tobaccofreebaseball.org.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among "America's Best Colleges." Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of "Colleges of Distinction," as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.

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