The best thing about the Quitline was talking to someone. ”That’s what Michelle Muschlitz, a 20-year University City resident, said after her experience talking to expert quit coaches at QuitlineNC, North Carolina’s free and confidential tobacco use Quitline.
“I tried to stop—this will be my fourth time—but I never tried to get a support system,” Michelle explained. “The reason I quit this time [is because] I was diagnosed with beginnings of emphysema eight years ago.”
Michelle, a retired kennel worker and lifelong dog lover, enjoyed an active lifestyle that included walking her Doberman Pinscher, Frodo, and working in her garden. Despite the regular physical activity, she had a chronic cough and was in and out of the hospital. Michelle thought doctors were exaggerating about the extent of her emphysema until one night this past spring when her cough was so bad that her husband, Greg, rushed her to the hospital.
This flare-up was the worst she had experienced. In the past, she had always returned to smoking once she was feeling better, but this time Michelle acknowledged that, beyond doubt, her health problems were tied to her smoking.
“It was a wake-up call—my deadline so-to-speak. Either I’m going to quit or I’m not going to be able to breathe,” she said. “If I don’t stop, I won’t be able to do all the things I love to do. I tried to quit on my own with no support. When you’ve been smoking for 40 years, you need support.”
Once ready to quit, Michelle found the Quitline by calling the American Cancer Society, which transferred her to QuitlineNC at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quit coaches at QuitlineNC helped her create a personal quit plan, followed up with her on her quit date, and contacted her two more times until Michelle felt like she had quit smoking for good. She no longer has nightmares about suffocating like she used to when she smoked.
Michelle credits QuitlineNC for helping her quit for good this time. She is looking forward to surprising her grandchildren, who live up North, with the great news that she is no longer a smoker.
An average of 67 people in Mecklenburg County quit smoking every month by calling QuitlineNC and working with a quit coach. If you smoke or use other forms of tobacco, consider making a free, confidential call to QuitlineNC (1-800-784-8669) today and get started on a happier, healthier life, just like Michelle has done.
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