Christian Guthmann of Sauk City isn’t the only one breathing easier now that he has quit smoking—his 12-year-old daughter, Lauren, isn’t experiencing asthmatic symptoms anymore. “She’s ecstatic,” Christian said. “My wife and kids had been after me to quit and I just couldn’t.” That changed when he enrolled in the Wisconsin Smokers’ Health Study (WSHS). After 30 years of smoking, he has been smoke free for a year. “If not for you guys, I couldn’t have quit,” he said. “You did more than talk; you gave us tools and how to use them.”
Not only did Christian get free medication—he also benefited from coaching by a consistent case manager, Chris Ripley, whom Christian heartily credits for his success. “I liked coming to chat with you guys,” Christian said. “It invigorated me and helped me change my mindset about smoking. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had the support I needed. And knowing I had the support of the study staff and my family was key.”
Since quitting, he can walk up stairs much easier (“No more gasping,” he said) and he has been able to concentrate on other health concerns—such as high blood pressure. He’s exercising and eating healthier. And unlike most quit-smoking studies, WSHS offers free tests that provide health information to participants. Christian said he’s much healthier now than a year ago.
“I thank you guys for saving my life,” he said. “I’m so much happier.”