MSM; Tobacco Use; HIV infection; Barriers to Cessation; Qualitative research


Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies


Purpose: To identify barriers and motivators to smoking cessation among HIV-positive African American men-who-have-sex with men (MSM) who smoke.

Procedures: A convenience sample of smokers was recruited for this study using a range of outreach approaches. Focus groups (N = 4) were conducted that examined: quit experiences, barriers to and motivators of cessation, cultural beliefs, and community norms. Established qualitative methods were used to conduct and analyze the focus groups.

Main Findings: Participants (N = 31) reporting being diagnosed with HIV+ for M = 12 years. More than 60% reported a quit attempt in the past year. Knowledge was about effective smoking cessation treatments and the negative impact of smoking on the management of HIV was low. Barriers to smoking cessation included: low-self-efficacy, environmental, cultural, emotional, and provider factors. Motivators included: finances, health, appearance, and changing social norms.

Conclusions: Study findings point to a number of barriers to and facilitators of smoking cessation in this population. Study results have implications for clinical practice, outreach and awareness campaigns, and future research.