Perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking in a sample of adults living with HIV/AIDS
Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) smoke at high prevalences and experience significant smoking-related consequences. In community samples, perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking are related to quit motivation and outcomes and are more strongly endorsed by women. This study examined perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking and the relationship between risks and benefits and quit motivation and confidence in male and female PLWH. One hundred seven PLWH who reported current cigarette smoking completed measures of demographics, smoking, perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking, motivation to quit smoking, and confidence in ability to quit smoking. The highest endorsed risks of quitting smoking were cravings and weight gain and higher endorsement of craving risks was associated with lower confidence in the ability to quit smoking. Women endorsed overall risks and risks related to negative affect more highly than men. Women and men did not differ in their endorsement of the other risks, the benefits of quitting, or the relationship between risks and benefits and quit motivation or confidence. It may be useful for health care professionals to incorporate information about perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking into treatment when working with PLWH who want to stop smoking.