We all know the dangers associated with smoking, arguably the most intense addiction faced by more than 19% of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. They have also concluded that this rate remains 2 to 3 times higher for individuals who are HIV positive, and I am no exception. As if that were not enough, the effects of smoking and having HIV are further intensified, due to an already compromised immune system. Without making excuses or minimizing the severity of COPD, heart disease, emphysema, asthma, lung disease, and a myriad of cancers; living with HIV can be quite stressful, being compounded by life’s many other challenges, and I have admittedly relied upon cigarettes as a source of relief and release. In the past, I have been successful at being a non-smoker for nearly a decade, after having started at a young age. As I continue to expand my treatment, a major focus has been to reduce my use of tobacco, and I am working hard to quit completely.