Experiences With Smoking Cessation Attempts and Prior Use of Cessation Aids in Smokers With HIV: Findings From a Focus Group Study Conducted in Durham, North Carolina.


Cigarette smoking remains disproportionately prevalent and is increasingly a cause of death and disability among people with HIV (PWH). Many PWH are interested in quitting, but interest in and uptake of first-line smoking cessation pharmacotherapies are varied in this population. To provide current data regarding experiences with and perceptions of smoking cessation and cessation aids among PWH living in Durham, North Carolina, the authors conducted five focus group interviews (total n = 24; 96% African American) using semistructured interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and thematically analyzed. Major themes included ambivalence and/or lack of interest in cessation; presence of cessation barriers; perceived perceptions of ineffectiveness of cessation aids; perceived medication side effects; and conflation of the harms resulting from use of tobacco products and nicotine replacement therapy. Innovative and effective interventions must account for the aforementioned multiple barriers to cessation as well as prior experiences with and misperceptions regarding cessation aids.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Pacek, Lauren R, Alicia D Holloway, Karen L Cropsey, Christina S Meade, Maggie M Sweitzer, James M Davis and F Joseph McClernon (2021). Experiences With Smoking Cessation Attempts and Prior Use of Cessation Aids in Smokers With HIV: Findings From a Focus Group Study Conducted in Durham, North Carolina. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 33(2). pp. 158–168. 10.1521/aeap.2021.33.2.158 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23700.

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Christina S. Meade

Visiting Associate Prof of Psychology & Neuroscience

Dr. Meade’s domestic research program focuses on predictors of HIV risk behavior in adults with substance use and psychiatric disorders, and the relationship between neuropsychiatric conditions and continued risk behavior in HIV-positive adults. She is particularly interested in how drug addiction and HIV infection impact executive functions, such as decision making, that lead individuals to engage in risky behaviors. Many of her current projects incorporate MRI to isolate the effects of addiction and HIV on both brain function and structure. Dr. Meade is also interested in the development of evidence-based treatments to improve cognitive functioning and reduce risk behaviors among drug users.

Given that most people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Meade’s international research program is based in South Africa. The Western Cape has experienced a dramatic increase in methamphetamine use since the early 2000s, and there is concern that it may further fuel the HIV epidemic in this country. Current projects focus on characterizing drug addiction and HIV risk behaviors in this understudied group, both in in community and treatment settings, and ultimately increasing uptake of HIV services to improve health outcomes and reduce the continued spread of HIV.


James Davis

Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. James Davis is a practicing physician of Internal Medicine, and serves as the Medical Director for Duke Center for Smoking Cessation, Director of the Duke Smoking Cessation Program and Co-Director of the Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Credentialing Program.  His research focuses on development of new pharmaceutical treatments for smoking cessation.  He is principal investigator on several trials including a study on “adaptive” smoking cessation and several trials on new medications for smoking cessation. The new medications leverage more novel neurobiological mechanisms - NMDA receptor antagonism, nicotinic receptor antagonism, which impact addiction-based learning and cue response. Additionally, Dr. Davis serves as co-investigator on trials on lung cancer screening, e-cigarettes, minor nicotine alkaloids, imaging trials, lung function trials and others. Dr. Davis leads the Duke Smoke-Free Policy Initiative, is co-author on a national  tobacco dependence treatment guideline, and provides training in tobacco dependence treatment for the Duke School of Medicine, Duke Internal Medicine, Family Practice and Psychiatry residency programs.

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