Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which increase your risk of cancer. These include carbon monoxide, which reduces the oxygen levels in your blood so that not enough oxygen is delivered to the organs and your energy levels drop.
In addition, smoking affects your blood pressure, fertility, your skin and lungs, and increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. If you smoke cannabis with tobacco, you will still be taking in the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.
Smoking does not directly impact upon your HIV but, because HIV damages your immune system, smoking can lead to increased health problems. Smokers living with HIV have an increased risk of chest infections, oral thrush, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than smokers who do not have HIV.
Some people use nicotine replacement products to help them to stop. These can come in the form of patches, lozenges, gum, inhalers and inhalators and you can gradually reduce the amount you take until the cravings pass. Your doctor can prescribe you nicotine replacement therapy. There are also medicines you can take to help with your cravings.