Meat me in St. Louis?

The war on major league baseball hot dogs begins today in St. Louis.

Today a new billboard sponsored by the nonprofit advocacy group The Cancer Project debuts off I-70 in St. Louis. The so-called “Unlucky Strikes” ad features grilled hot dogs stuffed into a cigarette pack—the message being that hot dogs (and other processed meats) are a “dietary disaster,” and dramatically increase the risk of cancer.

Why target St. Louis? The Major League Baseball All-Star game—a focal point of the season—will be held at Busch Stadium later this month, and eating hot dogs at games is de rigueur for many baseball fans. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s 2009 survey of hot dog and sausage consumption, major league ballparks are expected to sell 21 million hot dogs this year.

Among other things, the Cancer Project is hoping to pressure major league baseball teams to add warning labels to hot dogs sold at big league stadiums. Good luck with that. The long-term health of fans is of no consequence to major league baseball—not when hot dogs are selling for $4.75 each.