Men and women at the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit(ACTU) will be eligible to participate if they meet four criteria: (a) 18 years of age and older; and (b) diagnosis of HIV; and (c) self-reported smoking on a daily basis; and (d) provide informed written consent.
Persons who meet one or more of the following criteria will be excluded from the study: (a) persons with active psychosis or impaired mental status as judged by the clinic staff and confirmed with a Mini-Mental Status Exam); (b) unable to understand spoken English; (c) age less than 18 years.
Rationale: Persons with cognitive impairment may participate in the study if they are able to provide consent and answer questionnaire questions. No reason is identified to exclude persons with this characteristic. No special risks are posed to cognitively impaired persons who are able to provide consent. Persons who have active psychoses or impaired mental status as judged by the clinic staff and confirmed with a Mini-Mental Status Exam are not able to provide informed written consent and are unlikely to benefit from the treatment. These persons will be referred to appropriate mental health services and invited to participate when their mental status has improved.
Persons who are unable to understand spoken English would not be able to complete the assessments or benefit from the treatments. Less than 1% of the clinic population will be excluded on this basis. However, persons excluded from the study on this basis will be referred for standard smoking cessation treatment delivered in their native tongue. These community resources may be identified through the Ohio State University Nursing Center for Tobacco Intervention.
Younger adolescents (<18 years) will not be invited to participate in the study because we believe that they require treatments that are qualitatively different from those designed for older adolescents and adults. The treatments that will be evaluated in the proposed research are well suited to older adolescents and adults, but not developmentally tailored to younger adolescents. Less than 1% of the clinic population will be excluded on this basis. Most HIV+ children living in Columbus, Ohio receive HIV medical care through the F.A.C.E.S. outpatient clinic at Columbus Children's Hospital. Standard, age appropriate, smoking cessation treatment is available through the Health and Wellness Center at Columbus Children's Hospital. In the unlikely circumstance that a child <18 years of age wishes to participate in the proposed study, s/he will be referred to Health and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital for treatment or the Ohio State University Nursing Center for Tobacco Intervention for age appropriate smoking cessation community resources.
Pregnant women may not be included as subjects. While smoking during pregnancy is an important modifiable cause of poor pregnancy outcomes, little information is available on the safety or efficacy of varenicline. Therefore, participants who are pregnant will be excluded as subjects. Also, women who are breast-feeding will be excluded.
Other persons who are unable to use varenicline will be allowed to participate in the study but will not receive the varenicline component of treatment. A history and physical examination will be conducted as a component of the baseline evaluation.
People that have kidney problems or undergo kidney dialysis will not take the study drug, but will be given the option to take nicotine replacement therapy.
All persons excluded from the study will have the opportunity to receive smoking cessation treatment. We will provide referrals for treatment as clinically indicated.