When Quitting Becomes All Fun and Games


Anti-smoking games are self-medication. We actually have access to various types of games that can impactfully benefit us. But, do we use them? From an apparent stand point, take video games.  No, seriously. Playing a video game of some kind can help distract you from the craving, as video games tend to take our minds elsewhere during play. From a scientific standpoint, engaging in different activities can be just as as comforting, such as having enjoyable non-smoking company over. This is important, because emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality in smokers.

As it turns out, combine loneliness and a smoking addiction, and you are increasing your risk. So, stay productive. An assistant professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Hayeon Song) developed a video game relevant to our current physical habits, showing students what they might look like after twenty years of smoking tobacco. Results of the game led to increasing risk perceptions of health. Awareness can be the seed for change.

Some therapeutic elements of games, are they can keep your eye on a specific goal at all times, and help to mediate urges. Anti-smoking games range from “Hang Tabacco Man", using tobacco prevention vocabulary words, to online shooting games  such as “quit smoking”, where you can destroy cigarettes with e-cigarettes. You can also create for yourself an organic dose of education about the dangers of smoking with:

  • Math (calculating costs for the habit ) 
  • Science (demonstrations on the decaying effects of smoking ) 
  • Geography (exploring countries and their cigarette use per capita ) 
  • Reading Bar graphs (visual aid for statistics )

How will you educate yourself or involve yourself in some type of intervention or activity to break free?



*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons

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