Open Access Research

Impact of a board-game approach on current smokers: a randomized controlled trial

Yasser Khazaal1*, Anne Chatton1, Roberto Prezzemolo1, Fadi Zebouni2, Yves Edel2, Johan Jacquet1, Ornella Ruggeri1, Emilie Burnens1, Grégoire Monney1, Anne-Sylvie Protti1, Jean-François Etter3, Riaz Khan1, Jacques Cornuz4 and Daniele Zullino1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Addictology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Rue Verte 2, Geneva 1205, Switzerland

2 ECIMUD, Hôpital Pitié Salepêtrière, Paris, France

3 Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

4 Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2013, 8:3  doi:10.1186/1747-597X-8-3

Published: 17 January 2013



The main objective of our study was to assess the impact of a board game on smoking status and smoking-related variables in current smokers. To accomplish this objective, we conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the game group with a psychoeducation group and a waiting-list control group.


The following measures were performed at participant inclusion, as well as after a 2-week and a 3-month follow-up period: “Attitudes Towards Smoking Scale” (ATS-18), “Smoking Self-Efficacy Questionnaire” (SEQ-12), “Attitudes Towards Nicotine Replacement Therapy” scale (ANRT-12), number of cigarettes smoked per day, stages of change, quit attempts, and smoking status. Furthermore, participants were assessed for concurrent psychiatric disorders and for the severity of nicotine dependence with the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND).


A time × group effect was observed for subscales of the ANRT-12, ATS-18 and SEQ-12, as well as for the number of cigarettes smoked per day. At three months follow-up, compared to the participants allocated to the waiting list group, those on Pick-Klop group were less likely to remain smoker.

Outcomes at 3 months were not predicted by gender, age, FTND, stage of change, or psychiatric disorders at inclusion.


The board game seems to be a good option for smokers. The game led to improvements in variables known to predict quitting in smokers. Furthermore, it increased smoking-cessation rates at 3-months follow-up. The game is also an interesting alternative for smokers in the precontemplation stage.

Smoking; Smoking cessation; Cognitive behavior therapy; Motivational interviewing; Board games