Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Michael's Story

"I was suffocating to death!" That's how Michael—a veteran, an Alaska Native, and member of the Tlingit tribe—thinks back to why he quit smoking. A smoker since he was 9, Michael was addicted to cigarettes for most of his adult life, including the 2 years he served in the U.S. Army. At 44, he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD—a condition also referred to as chronic bronchitis or emphysema—that makes it harder and harder to breathe. He ignored the symptoms until age 52, when he awoke gasping for air. He quit smoking that day.

Since then, Michael has had to have part of his lungs removed to improve his condition. However, COPD does not go away, and Michael now needs a lung transplant. He desperately wants to be around for his grandchildren, but he feels he’s running out of time.


I'm ready to quit! Free resources provided by
Contact Us:
  • CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
    4770 Buford Highway
    MS F-79
    Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    8a-8p ET
    Closed Holidays
  • tobaccomediacampaign The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #