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Tony Gwynn watching his team play

The late Major League Baseball superstar Tony Gwynn’s family is suing Altria a tobacco giant alleging that the company enticed him into taking up dip tobacco habit. This addiction caused cancer to Tony and killed him at age 54.

A lawsuit has been filed in Superior Court in San Diego, California. It alleges the company for its negligence, product liability and fraud for selling a product they knew was dangerous and failing to warn users.


Altria sells dip tobacco in a small pouch or can and this can be held in mouth between the gum and lip. Some believe that it is a harmless alternative to smoking.

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The company gave Tony free samples of dip when he was at attending San Diego State University. Tony had become addicted and started using two cans of Skoal brand tobacco everyday while playing professional baseball with the San Diego Padres said his family.

His daughter, Anisha Gwynn-Jones, said the whole industry used her father as a “walking billboard” for their product.

The Baseball superstar’s family said Tony would often fall asleep with a chew of the Skoal stuck in his mouth. This developed into salivary gland cancer and he died in 2014.

The tobacco gaint Altria his hasn’t made any official comment about the lawsuit.

Many cities like Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco with Major League Baseball teams have outlawed use of smokeless tobacco for their players and also inside ballparks.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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