TFL mourns the loss of Dr. Charlie Brown, a pioneer of tobacco control in Louisiana
If you ever wanted to know how and why smoke-free environments, tobacco tax increases, and promoting quit smoking services in Louisiana became a hot button issue, the name Dr. Charlie Brown will be at the top of the list. He dedicated his life’s work to making a difference for those addicted to smoking in order to save lives.
I can recall the first time I met Dr. Brown, who served as the chair of the TFL Steering Committee since its inception. A very tall, gray-haired frame with a boisterous presence, he took his seat and said “let’s get this meeting started.” He definitely commanded your attention. He always gave the history of how TFL began, what state legislators were instrumental in developing a trust fund, the partners involved, and the importance of keeping this work alive.
Through many encounters over my 10 ½ year span in tobacco control, I received numerous calls or requests for meetings at his office, and even accompanied him to board meetings to defend the great work our organization does across the state. He was very sharp and did not forget anything. If you said you were going to send him something and you didn’t, he would let you know that he was still waiting on it and that you should stop what you are doing and send it.
I heard from Dr. Brown twice in the past year. We talked about the Smoke-Free New Orleans victory - he even called the evening after it passed to send his congratulations. Additionally, he shared that he was writing a book on tobacco control in Louisiana and wanted to receive my input. His asking was a huge honor for me and my work with TFL and LPHI.
Dr. Brown not only served as the chair of the TFL steering committee, he also served as a faculty member at the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Public Health, a key advisor and witness in the Scott v. American Tobacco Company, Inc. class action litigation against tobacco companies, an oncologist – hematologist, and former team physician for the New Orleans Saints football organization.
Dr. Brown leaves a footprint and legacy for many to follow. He is a true tobacco control and Louisiana legend and will be greatly missed.
Tonia Moore, MSHCM
Director, The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL)