Barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation among HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) in Hanoi, Vietnam: a qualitative study

Abstract

Introduction

In Vietnam, 60% of men living with HIV smoke tobacco, and 92% of HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) smoke tobacco. Tobacco use increases mortality through increased health risks including tuberculosis and malignancy in HIV-infected smokers. However, tobacco use treatment is not widely available in Vietnam. The objective was to examine current barriers and facilitators of smoking cessation and tobacco use treatment for HIV-infected PWID in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Methods

Native speaking ethnographers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews about tobacco use and tobacco use treatment with sixteen HIV-infected PWID and eight healthcare providers, recruited from four HIV-Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) clinics in Hanoi, Vietnam. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and translated for thematic analysis in Dedoose.

Results

Clients and providers had learned the general health risks of smoking from public awareness campaigns. Half had tried to quit previously, often motivated by advice from family members but not by HIV providers’ advice. Almost all clients did not want to quit, citing the low price of tobacco, prevalence of smoking in Vietnam, and physical cravings. HIV provider’s counseling was brief, inconsistent, and limited by low provider knowledge and competing burdens of HIV and injection drug use. Providers recently trained by NGO-led seminars on tobacco prioritized tobacco use treatment.

Conclusions

Smoking cessation efforts for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and PWID smokers in Hanoi, Vietnam could benefit from further community public awareness campaigns, and exploring increased tobacco taxation. Tobacco use treatment at HIV clinics could benefit from involving family and friends in cessation, and training providers in treatment methods.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through a grant supporting the Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellows Program at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation did not have any role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

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Correspondence to L. Chockalingam.

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Chockalingam, L., Ha, T.V., Bui, Q. et al. Barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation among HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) in Hanoi, Vietnam: a qualitative study. Cancer Causes Control (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-021-01396-3

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Keywords

  • Vietnam
  • Tobacco
  • Smoking
  • People who inject drugs
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Qualitative