Increasing anti-tobacco attitudes among youth through an educational interactive game
Objective: This study examines how Smoke Stacks contributes to shifts in youths’ attitudes towards tobacco companies and behavioral intentions to use tobacco.
Methods: A total of 67 youth ages 14-18 years participated in the study. Participants were assessed using a pre-/post- evaluation design. Pre- and post-gameplay, participants completed questionnaires assessing tobacco knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions to use tobacco products. Paired t-tests and Chi-square tests were used to examine changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions regarding tobacco.
Results: Overall participants reported increased knowledge regarding the health effects of tobacco (p<.001). Participants were more likely to agree that tobacco companies try to get young people to start smoking (p=.02) and deny that cigarettes cause cancer and other diseases (p=.002). Participants reported being less likely to engage in tobacco use soon (p=.02) or over the next year (p=.01) compared to pre-gameplay assessment.
Discussion: Health-focused games are a promising means of public health education. Findings from the current study demonstrate that Smoke Stacks, an anti-tobacco educational board game, may contribute to shifts in attitudes and behavioral intentions regarding tobacco use.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Discuss the influence of an interactive game-based intervention on anti-tobacco attitudes and beliefs among youth. Identify ways that games can be used among student populations to encourage interest in advocacy around health topics.
Keyword(s): Youth, Tobacco Use
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have am a lead researcher at the Game Changer Chicago game lab where professional game designers and health professional collaborate with youth to design research-based health games. With the oversight of the principal investigator, I oversaw the theoretical design of the intervention and led the execution of the research. Among my scientific interests are innovative health education interventions for youth and game based models for health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.