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Editor's Note
November 2017

If We Are Smart Enough to Stop HIV From Replicating, Why Can’t We Help People to Stop Smoking?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California
  • 2Deputy Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(11):1622. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4365

For those of us who cared for patients with AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s, when death was rampant and around every corner, how wonderful it is it to read that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment has improved so much that HIV-infected persons who take their medicines but smoke cigarettes are at greater risk of dying of lung cancer than of dying of AIDS.1 Believe me when I say that death from lung cancer due to tobacco use was not high on our list of worries during those dark years. But in the face of such rapid progress in developing therapies against the deadly HIV virus, discovered only a little more than 30 years ago, how sad that our efforts on preventing the harms of tobacco are stagnant.

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