No differences in delay discounting between smokers with and without HIV

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2020 Nov 12. doi: 10.1007/s00213-020-05701-x. Online ahead of print.


RATIONALE: People with HIV (PWH) smoke cigarettes at much higher rates than the general population and evidence-based cessation methods are less effective, putting PWH at greater risk for negative health outcomes. It is critical to identify the factors that underlie this health disparity. Delay discounting-the decline in the value of a reward when it is delayed-may explain this disparity.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to (1) compare delay discounting between adult smokers with HIV and without HIV and (2) evaluate whether acute smoking abstinence disproportionately increases delay discounting among smokers with HIV.

METHODS: This sub-study was part of a larger study (NCT03169101) examining predictors of smoking cessation outcomes among smokers with HIV (n = 34) and smokers without HIV (n = 46) at two counterbalanced laboratory sessions (once smoking-as-usual and once following 24-h biochemically confirmed abstinence) then again, after 8 weeks of smoking cessation treatment.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in delay discounting rates between HIV status groups (p = 0.49) or within-subject abstinence effects (p = 0.70). However, smokers without HIV exhibited a significant increase in delay discounting following smoking cessation treatment compared to baseline (p = 0.02), whereas the change among smokers with HIV did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings do not support differences in delay discounting as a reason for the lower success rates of HIV+ smokers at quitting. Although delay discounting may not explain the disparity in smoking rates between people with and without HIV, future work should focus on additional correlates of higher smoking rates and lower quit rates among people with HIV.

PMID:33180174 | DOI:10.1007/s00213-020-05701-x