The Influence of Social Support on Smoking Cessation Treatment Adherence Among HIV+ Smokers

Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):1126-33. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv144. Epub 2015 Jun 26.


Introduction: The high prevalence of smoking among people living with HIV is a significant problem. Nonadherence to smoking cessation pharmacotherapy is a barrier for successfully quitting. The current study investigated the extent to which social support variables impact adherence and cessation.

Methods: Participants were 444 HIV+ smokers who provided data on nicotine patch adherence, social support, and smoking. We conducted a path analysis to estimate (1) the effects of six social support indicators at baseline on nicotine patch adherence; (2) the effect of patch adherence on 7-day point prevalence smoking at 6-month follow-up; and (3) the indirect effects of social support indicators on 7-day point prevalence smoking at 6-month follow-up via patch adherence.

Results: The tested model demonstrated good fit as indicated by the comparative fit index, root mean square error of approximation, and weighted root mean square residual (0.94, 0.02, and 0.51, respectively). Path analysis results indicated greater social support network contact was associated with higher levels of nicotine patch adherence (β = .13, P = .02), greater patch adherence was associated with a lower probability of 7-day point prevalence smoking at 6-month follow-up (β = -.47, P < .001) and greater social support network contact (β = -.06, P = .03) had a significant indirect effect on 7-day point prevalence smoking at 6-month follow-up via patch adherence.

Conclusions: Findings have implications for smoking cessation interventions that seek to capitalize on the beneficial effects of social support. Such efforts should account for the role that frequency of contact may have on nicotine patch use and other treatment-related mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Cessation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder* / therapy