Smoking Cessation and Obstructive Lung Diseases Program

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. The latest statistics show that 480,000 Americans will die this year due to tobacco related disorders such as cardiovascular and lungs diseases and cancers. Smoking also worsens chronic conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The average smoker loses 14 years of life, but within 15 years of being smoke free, the risk of premature death approaches that of a nonsmoker. The vast majority of current smokers would like to quit and half of these individuals try each year. However, without evidence based counseling and pharmacotherapy, less than 5% are successful.

The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Smoking Cessation and Obstructive Lung Diseases Program combines patient education, personalized behavioral strategies, medications, and treatment for smoking-related lung diseases to help an individual break free of tobacco and live a healthy and active life. Over the past decade, Dr. Gilbert has worked with over 650 smokers who have achieved a high rate of quitting success. Our clinic combines the knowledge and expertise of physicians, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists and works with a smoker for as long as they need to permanently overcome their use of tobacco products.

The clinic provides one-on-one counseling. We give patients tips about altering life circumstances that may be keeping them smoking. In partnership with a patient, we develop a quit plan based on past experiences and current health conditions. We also teach smokers about and help them gain access to FDA approved medications that will enhance their likelihood of becoming a nonsmoker. We see patients on a continuity basis, as one myth about smoking cessation is that if you try once to quit and are unsuccessful, you will never be able to stop smoking. Actually, most people who are successful quitters have needed multiple attempts along with counseling and medication for six to twelve months.

Assessment, Education and Treatment

Additionally, when patients come to us, we give them a good idea of what smoking may or may not have done to their lung function. Patients often do not recognize the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease – COPD, a condition that is overwhelmingly caused by smoking and is the result of airway inflammation, destruction of the air sacs, and/or a loss of the airways’ supporting structures. Often they feel that shortness of breath with their normal activities is simply a part of aging. Conversely, cough and sputum production may not mean that permanent damage to the lungs has occurred. Patients will have their lung function measured with a simple, quick, and harmless technique called spirometry and know whether or not their respiratory function has been compromised. If damage has occurred, our program will prescribe medications that might improve how well the lungs function, decrease symptoms, and improve exercise ability.

You do not need a referral unless your insurance plan mandates a primary care doctor referral.

To schedule an appointment, please call (414) 805-6633.

Our Team


Valerie Bonne, MD

Assistant Professor

Christine Czajkowski, RRT