Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy, Browne Lewis, participated in a panel discussion at the 37th Annual Health Law Professors Conference at the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, California, on June 6, 2014. Professor Lewis participated on the panel with three other Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Residence. She described her experience as a Scholar in Residence working with the Cleveland Public Health Department (CPHD) to address the public health issue of small cigar smoking among minors.
According to Professor Lewis, the number of young people smoking cigarettes has declined. However, the number of middle school and high school students smoking small cigars has increased by 124%. Professor Lewis’ project at the CPHD focused upon the laws that could be put in place to discourage young people from smoking small cigars. Her recommendations included passing resolutions that ban the sale of small cigars containing flavored tobacco, prohibit the sale of small cigars in packs of less than twenty, and require point-of-sale warnings about the dangers of tobacco use. Professor Lewis also proposed that the CPHD take steps to education parents and children about the negative health consequences of smoking small cigars.