News and Events

Waste Management Joins the Tobacco Free Partnership to Celebrate the Great American Smoke Out
November 21, 2014

On Friday November 21st the Tobacco Free Partnership of Okeechobee partnered with Waste Management employees to celebrate the Great American Smoke Out, which encourages smokers to quit or to use the day to make a quit plan. 

Great American Smoke Out 2014
Photo caption: Pictured in this photo are Courtney Moyett, Tobacco Prevention Specialist for Okeechobee County
and Waste Management employees Sr. District Manager Tony Bishop, Mark Broadrick,
Jason Johns, James Beville, Allen Leitner and Jaen Torres.

“Waste Management values the health of their employees,” said Community Relations Manager Teresa Chandler. “We were excited to host this event at our Okeechobee office and offer our employees options of a healthier lifestyle without tobacco products.”

Dr. Barry Hummel, co-founder of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation which manages the Tobacco Free Florida program in Okeechobee County, suggested that every day can be a Great American Smoke Out. “The key to success is choosing a quit date and creating a support network around your quit attempt,” said Dr. Hummel.  “Let everyone know that you are planning to quit on that date, and make sure the people in your life are ready to help if things get tough.”

If you're a smoker, quitting is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your loved ones. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, and it threatens your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death. Many people have probably urged you to quit smoking already, but we all know that quitting can be hard.

Quitting smoking can be hard, so Waste Management employees were given a plan to help smoking employees get past symptoms of withdrawal. Below are five steps that can help anyone who is trying to stop smoking.

  1. Set a quit date. One you make the commitment to quit, a firm quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends you plan to quit. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily e-mail, text message, or phone call can help you stay on course and provide moral support. Plan a smoke-free lunch date or game night to distract yourself. Or gather your family in the kitchen to cook a special meal together.
  3. Anticipate and plan for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Surprised? Those moments can feel intense. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Healthy choices include:
    • Drinking water
    • Taking a walk or climbing the stairs
    • Listening to a favorite song or playing a game
    • Calling or texting a friend
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  5. Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free resources to help smokers quit. For more information contact 1-877-U-Can-Now and you will receive proactive coaching sessions, self-help material and free nicotine replacement therapy (to eligible callers while supplies last.) Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medicines may help with cravings.

For additional resources, contact Courtney Moyett, Tobacco Prevention Specialist in Okeechobee County, at