Prevalence of video game use, cigarette smoking, and acceptability of a video game-based smoking cessation intervention among online adults

  • Raiff B
  • Jarvis B
  • Rapoza D
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INTRODUCTION: Video games may serve as an ideal platform for developing and implementing technology-based contingency management (CM) interventions for smoking cessation as they can be used to address a number of barriers to the utilization of CM (e.g., replacing monetary rewards with virtual game-based rewards). However, little is known about the relationship between video game playing and cigarette smoking. The current study determined the prevalence of video game use, video game practices, and the acceptability of a video game-based CM intervention for smoking cessation among adult smokers and nonsmokers, including health care professionals. METHODS: In an online survey, participants (N = 499) answered questions regarding their cigarette smoking and video game playing practices. Participants also reported if they believed a video game-based CM intervention could motivate smokers to quit and if they would recommend such an intervention. RESULTS: Nearly half of the participants surveyed reported smoking cigarettes, and among smokers, 74.5% reported playing video games. Video game playing was more prevalent in smokers than nonsmokers, and smokers reported playing more recently, for longer durations each week, and were more likely to play social games than nonsmokers. Most participants (63.7%), including those who worked as health care professionals, believed that a video game-based CM intervention would motivate smokers to quit and would recommend such an intervention to someone trying to quit (67.9%). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that delivering technology-based smoking cessation interventions via video games has the potential to reach substantial numbers of smokers and that most smokers, nonsmokers, and health care professionals endorsed this approach.

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  • Bethany R. Raiff

  • Brantley P. Jarvis

  • Darion Rapoza

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