Chicago approves ban on chewing tobacco at sporting events

CHICAGO (AP) Chicago is knocking chewing tobacco out of the ballpark.

The city joined a growing list Wednesday when aldermen approved a ban on chewing tobacco at professional and amateur sporting events.

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf voiced his support in a letter to the city's finance committee last week. He said children should not be exposed to smokeless tobacco and that the league and the city have a chance to be leaders ''in an important cause.''

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday he disagrees with the ban, even though he stopped using smokeless tobacco 15 years ago. So does John Lackey, who says he does not use the product but ''grown men should have their own choices.''

Similar bans are taking effect San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.