November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and the Great American Smokeout is commemorated on the third Thursday of November, which is November 21 this year. The Smokeout is a national event, organized by the American Cancer Society, that challenges people to stop smoking tobacco for one day as a first step toward quitting permanently.
There is a substantial and growing body of research on smoking and other tobacco use among persons living with HIV. In the U.S., a higher proportion of HIV+ persons are smokers compared to the uninfected general population. As a result, the incidence of smoking-related cancers and cardiovascular disease is substantially higher among HIV+ persons than among uninfected persons. Since smoking also weakens the immune system, HIV+ smokers are more susceptible to some opportunistic illnesses, including thrush, bacterial pneumonia, and pneumocystis pneumonia, than HIV+ nonsmokers.
In addition, some recent studies have indicated that HIV+ smokers receiving effective antiretroviral treatment are more likely to die from smoking-related causes than from HIV-related illnesses.
To help you, your colleagues, and patients or clients become more informed about this topic, we have compiled an annotated list of online resources focusing on smoking and HIV/AIDS, as well as smoking cessation.
Information on Smoking and HIV
Smoking and Tobacco Use [and HIV] – This online fact sheet from TheWellProject includes extensive information about the specific health impacts of smoking and other tobacco use on persons living with HIV (PLWH), how quitting smoking can improve health, and options for people who would like to quit.
Smoking and HIV – This webpage from HIV.gov includes information about smoking rates among PLWH, as well as the ways in which smoking affects PLWH.
HIV and Your Lungs – This fact sheet from Poz describes the effects of HIV on the lungs, as well as the potential lung health benefits of different interventions including quitting smoking, engaging in aerobic exercise, eating well, receiving recommended vaccinations, and taking preventive medications, when appropriate.
HIV and Smoking – This fact sheet, also from Poz, focuses on smoking triggers, the importance of support systems for people who would like to quit, and the different options available for smoking cessation.
Quit Smoking Resources – This CDC page describes and links to more than a dozen U.S. federal government programs and health campaigns designed to help people stop smoking. Some of these resources focus on particular groups, including women, teens, persons who speak Spanish, and military personnel and their families.
The Great American Smokeout – This is the American Cancer Society’s official website for the Smokeout event. It provides extensive information about the event itself, the benefits of quitting, encouragement and tips for people who would like to quit, and the various smoking cessation options that are available.
Quit Smoking/Tobacco/Vaping – This webpage from the American Heart Association includes information about quitting smoking, as well as recent information about the health dangers of vaping.
Stop Smoking – This is the American Lung Association’s resource page for smokers who would like to quit and for concerned family members and friends who would like to help loved ones quit.