News and Events

Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County Interviewed on WJXT Channel 4 News 
April 3, 2018

On April 3, 2018 the Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County, Jenna Hewett, and the Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Columbia County, Joey O'Hern, were interviewed by Morning Show anchor Melanie Lawson of WJXT Channel 4 News in Jacksonville Florida.

The three discussed the decline in cigarette smoking and the success of tobacco prevention program across the state.  While Florida has seen a significant decline in smoking, there are still about 2.5 million adult cigarette smokers in the state. We have also seen a significant rise in the use of electronic nicotine delivery devices.

Pictured from L to R: Bradford County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Jenna Hewett, WJXT Morning Anchor Melanie Lawson, Columbia County Tobacco Prevention Specialist Joey O'Hern

Studies show that two out of three cigarette smokers wish they could quit. The Tobacco Prevention Specialist of Bradford County stated that Tobacco Free Florida has many resources for those wanting to quit that allow to access FREE tools, choosing as many as needed, or combining the services that work best. There are seven free resources that Floridians have access to: phone quit, group quit, web quit, text2quit, email tips, 2 week starter kit and a quit guide. 

The Tobacco Prevention Specialists were grateful for the opportunity to share more information on Tobacco Free Florida Week and the tobacco prevention efforts happening locally across the state. 

WJXT anchor Melanie Lawson is a Florida native. She grew up in Longwood, just two hours south of Jacksonville. She attended Hampton University in Virginia before beginning her career in journalism at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Md., and Dover, Del. While at WBOC, she covered Delaware legislature, Dover Air Force Base and in-depth health stories, to name a few.

Melanie lost her father to lung cancer in 2009 after he smoked for many years. In February, she shared her story on Facebook and mentioned Tobacco Free Florida’s resources.  Melanie has also received an Associated Press award for a half-hour health special that she wrote, co-produced and hosted. It focused on three deadly health conditions that plagued the community. Hosting the half-hour health special was just one way Melanie ermians involved in the community.

Melanie has also participated in community theater, hosted multiple public service events, mentored children in her neighborhood and is a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

For more information on resources available to help Floridians quit smoking, visit