Project Overview +

Positively Smoke Free is a smoking cessation project for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) that takes place in an Infections Disease Clinic in New York City.

Related Media +

Related Media:

Aims +

The goal of this proposal is to develop a web-based smoking cessation program targeted to the unique needs and concerns of PLWHA smokers.

Participants +

Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) who wish to quit smoking who are recruited through advertising on bulletin boards and exam rooms at the Montefiore Infectious Disease Clinic as well as regional and national networks of HIV care providers.

Intervention +

The intervention includes 8 weekly sessions which address: HIV and smoking -- a double threat, stress management, coping with psychiatric illness and illicit substance use during the quitting process, smoking in PLWHAs who belong to the LGBT community, pharmacotherapy for tobacco dependence in the setting of HIV treatment, dispelling myths about HIV and smoking, finding appropriate social support during the quitting process, and living as a non-smoker in smoke-filled environments.

Findings +

Participants averaged 14.4 cigarettes daily. 66% were moderately or highly nicotine dependent, and most were motivated to quit. Substance use and depression were very common. Most reported that smoking helped them cope with depression, anxiety, and anger. 27% thought (mistakenly) that smoking raised their T-cell counts and/or helped fight infections.

Conclusion +

Smoking among PLWHAs is a challenging problem. Next steps will include creating a tailored version of the Positively Smoke Free website.

Positively Smoke Free

06/01/2008 - 08/31/2009


American Legacy Foundation

Principal Investigator:

Jonathan Shuter, MD


Lawrence C. An, MD
Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH