Game Over Smoking! Can Playing Video Games Really Help You Quit Smoking?

April 29, 2022 3 min read

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Game Over Smoking!

I am sure if you are a smoker you have searched the internet typing into Google such things as “the best way to stop smoking”, “10 way to quit smoking” and “quit smoking tips” etc. Some people will have been lucky and will have come across a method or technique that seemed to work with them such as using eliquid from vaping, but there are still a lot more people that still cannot break that addiction no matter what they try. There are all sorts of conventional and unique, weird and wonderful ways people have recommend online that they claim as helped them to quit but one that caught my eye was on Choice And Shadows Blogspot page:

The owner of this gaming blog made quite a bold statement that playing video games helped him to quit. The more I read the more I came to realise that actually the more I thought about it video games could hold some untapped power to help smokers to put down their last cigarette for good.

Some key points the author of the post touched on was:

Mental Distraction+

Although all video game require a certain level of concentration in order to play successfully, there are certain strategy games such as RTS (Real Time Strategy) games that demand the player’s FULL concentration. Trying to build a base, maintain its power supply, build defences, create units, research new technologies, harvest resources, put together attack strategies and attack the enemy all whilst trying to make sure the enemy is not attacking and destroying you really is mentally overwhelming and taxing. The player needs to be fully alert and focused at the task at hand. This state of over heightened mental activity distracts away from ones urge for a cigarette, hey that one cigarettes could literally be game over!

There was one time when the author pointed out that he once lit up during a game, took a puff and immediately put the cigarette straight back down due to the intensity of the game. He later returned to it and found that because he was distracted, so much time had passed that there was nothing left of it in the ashtray. He went on to say,

“That's a powerful moment to note; I had made my choice. That wouldn't be the last cigarette I ever had. But it wouldn't be the last time I ignored them in favor of playing video games, either.”

Hands Occupation

By using a controller you are inevitably keeping your hands busy and therefore away from picking up a cigarette. During a game even though most players will be in autopilot and will not even once look down at the pad, the hands will be busy making their way around the controller making the little man move around the screen

Keep You From Boredom

Just like some people eat from boredom, there are those that will pick up and smoke a cigarette for the same reason. Video games engage the user and keep them occupied, all whist having a fun time…there is nothing more fun than using your bolt action rifle to pick off zombies trying to invade your safe house on COD.

Feel Good Factor

Just like how a nicotine hit releases endorphins whilst smoking a cigarette, well guess what? Gaming has the same effect! The only difference here is that you are actually enjoying yourself and having a good time rather than it just be an intake of chemicals. Arguably the main reason people smoke is due to the addiction which is related to the endorphin release. If this is being satisfied via another method i.e. gaming than smoking suddenly becomes less important.


Some people may point out that playing videogames might be a good solution whilst at home but what about when away from ones home during bus travel or on a lunch break at work? We now live in a world that has had to evolve to our busy and mobile lives, hence the evolution of the latest smartphones that not only now make phone calls and send texts but can take pictures, give us directions, allow us to work away from home on apps such as google sheets, allow us to check on to a flight and most relevant play games. Phones and other portable gaming devices such as the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo’s 3Ds allow for gaming on the go.

So next time you have that urge to smoke, pick up your gaming controller instead. Hey, it just might save your life!



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