Introduction: Poly-tobacco use is defined as cigarette and other tobacco consumption with either product used daily or non-daily. While concurrent use of different types of tobacco has been documented within the general population, less is known about poly-tobacco use among HIV-positive smokers and its impact on smoking cessation efforts.
Objective: To characterize the profile of poly-tobacco users (PTU) in a sample of HIV-positive smokers participating in a cessation program.
Methods: The study sample consisted of 474 HIV-positive smokers enrolled in a 2-group randomized controlled trial of cigarette smoking cessation comparing a cell phone-based intervention to usual care. Prevalence was determined, and risk factors for poly-tobacco use were evaluated using logistic regression.
Results: In this cohort of HIV-positive cigarette smokers, 21.6% of participants were PTU, with cigars (73.4%) the most common tobacco product consumed. Among PTU, 73.5% used other form(s) of tobacco some days, and 26.5% use them every day. Perceived discrimination and unemployment were significantly associated with poly-tobacco use after adjusting for other demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial factors. Analysis showed that participants in the cell phone group (vs. usual care) were more likely to report 24-hr abstinence, both among monocigarette users (16.6% vs. 6.3%, p <.001) and PTU (18.5% vs. 0%, p <.001).
Conclusion: Poly-tobacco use prevalence among adult HIV-positive smokers was considerably higher than in the general population. Special attention must be placed on concurrent use of cigarettes and cigars among HIV-positive smokers. Because PTU are a unique population less likely to succeed in brief smoking cessation interventions, effective cessation programs are needed.