The need to include tobacco prevention activities among HIV positive smokers is evidenced by the Centers for Disease Control which reports that HIV positive smokers are more likely to suffer complications from diseases of opportunity because smoking increases the risk of some long-term side effects of HIV disease and treatment such as osteoporosis, the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Older smokers are at greater risks from smoking because they have smoked longer (an average of 40 years), tend to be heavier smokers, and are more likely to suffer from smoking-related illnesses. They are also significantly less likely than younger smokers to believe that smoking harms their health. Our activities promote cessation of all tobacco products including but not limited to smokeless, cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, which include information sharing and policy development in senior centers, housing, and care facilities.

The CDC states that people with mental illness are much more likely to smoke than people without mental illness and the consequences of smoking take a tremendous toll on these individuals. Tobacco use among persons with mental health conditions can be prevented, and those who currently smoke can quit.

Arkansas has one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in women who are pregnant in the country. Smoking reduces a woman’s chances of getting pregnant; smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for pregnancy complications; and tobacco smoke harms babies before and after they are born. The CDC links smoking to increased miscarriages, low birth weight babies, and higher infant mortalities.