The effects of smoking abstinence on symptom burden and quality of life among persons living with HIV/AIDS

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Sep;21(9):659-66. doi: 10.1089/apc.2007.0022.


Persons living with HIV/AIDS who are current smokers are more likely to develop disease-related adverse health outcomes compared to nonsmokers with HIV/AIDS. However, the impact of smoking cessation on health outcomes such as symptom status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has not yet been assessed within this population. This study examined the effects of changes in smoking status on HIV-related symptom burden and health-related quality of life outcomes in a multiethnic, low-income population of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Patients (n = 95) from a large, inner city HIV/AIDS clinic were enrolled in a smoking cessation trial providing nicotine replacement therapy, counseling, and self-help written materials. Biochemically verified smoking status, length of smoking abstinence, HIV-related symptom burden, and HRQOL were assessed approximately 3-months posttrial enrollment. A series of multiple linear regression models was performed to assess the associations between the smoking status variables and the health outcomes at follow-up while controlling for baseline levels. Length of smoking abstinence was significantly associated (p = 0.02) with HIV-related symptom burden. Specifically, increasing number of consecutive days of smoking abstinence during the 3-month follow-up period was associated with lower levels of HIV-related symptom burden at the time of follow-up. However, 24-hour smoking prevalence was not significantly (p > 0.05) associated with changes in either HIV-related symptom burden or HRQOL. These findings suggest that smoking cessation can significantly improve symptom burden for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Moreover, these benefits are observable as early as 3 months after quitting and are positively correlated with the length of abstinence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Texas
  • Urban Population