Detour: A smartphone game to help youth quit smoking

Project Lead Category Project status
Suhaavi Kochhar Behavior Regulation Recruitment

Welcome to Detour, the innovative mobile game designed to help youths quit smoking by offering guidance, social support, and goal setting. Developed by a team of researchers, game developers, and youths, Detour utilizes cutting-edge psychology research to distract from smoking urges, build healthier habits, and focus on a smoke-free future. With daily reminders, just-in-time interventions, and a habit tracker feature for motivation, Detour empowers young individuals to lead healthier, happier lives. Join the community today and take the first step toward a smoke-free future!

Project team


There is currently no smoking intervention targeting young people, and this game is an attempt to fill this gap. Detour is developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientific researchers, game developers and youths. We use a design thinking approach where we design for and together with the youths. Our team of youth advisors is involved in the design process from the beginning, and we meet with them regularly to ensure that every step of the design takes into account our target audience. We also conduct playtests in schools to gain insights into usability and engagement with a larger target group.

The development of Detour is based on the latest scientific research in psychology to help young people quit smoking. The game offers distractions from smoking urges and helps players build healthier habits by offering rewards and incentives for achieving their goals. In addition, Detour is designed to help young people quit smoking by focusing on their future selves. The game helps players set personal goals and offers them various ways to track their progress. These features include daily reminders, just-in-time intervention when their smoking cravings are the greatest, progress reports, and access to a supportive community of other youths who want to quit smoking. One of Detour's most unique features is the generation of personal AI art. This provides players with a creative outlet that can help them de-stress and stay motivated. The generated art is also shareable, making it easy for players to connect with others on the same journey.

The previous version of the game had been tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and shown promising results. In this version, we seek to improve the game further with the addition of features such as personal AI art. We believe Detour can make a real difference in the lives of young people who want to quit smoking. By providing an engaging, fun, and supportive environment, we hope to help young people get rid of their addiction and live healthier, happier lives.

Join the Detour community today and take the first step toward a smoke-free future!


  • The Benefits of Playing Video Games

    Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. (2014). American Psychologist, 69, 66-78.

    Author: Isabela Granic

    Upload date: 01-17-2014

  • Mechanisms of Change in a Go/No-Go Training Game for Young Adult Smokers

    Scholten, H., Luijten, M., Poppelaars, A., Johnson-Glenberg, M. C., & Granic, I. (2021). Health Psychology, 40(12), 998-1008.

    Author: Hanneke Scholten

    Upload date: 07-01-2021

  • A Randomized Controlled Trial to Test the Effectiveness of a Peer-Based Social Mobile Game Intervention to Reduce Smoking in Youth

    Scholten, H., Luijten, M., & Granic, I. (2019). Development and Psychopathology, 31, 1923-1943. doi: 10.1017/S0954579419001378

    Author: Hanneke Scholten

    Upload date: 06-17-2020

  • Behavioral Trainings and Manipulations to Reduce Delay Discounting: A Systematic Review.

    Scholten, H., Scheres, A., De Water, E., Graf, U., Granic, I., & Luijten, M. (2019). Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 26, 1803-1849. doi: 10.3758/s13423-019-01629-2

    Author: Hanneke Scholten

    Upload date: 07-03-2019

  • Do Smokers Devaluate Smoking Cues after Go/NoGo Training?

    Scholten, H., Granic, I., Chen, Z., Veling, H., & Luijten, M. (2019). Psychology & Health, 34(5), 609-625. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1554184

    Author: Hanneke Scholten

    Upload date: 01-29-2019

Project team

Suhaavi Kochhar title=
Suhaavi Kochhar
Researcher at GEMH Lab

Researcher, PhD candidate, passionate plant mom, fitness buff, people person, suffers from an optimism bias, ESFJ and enneagram type 2. Especially keen on translational science; it's time we burst the bubble!!!


PhD-Candidate at Radboud University


E-mail Suhaavi

Maartje Luijten title=
Maartje Luijten
Associate Professor

I both perform research and teach in the area of developmental psychopathology. My main expertise involves neurocognitive aspects of substance use.


Behavioural Science Institute - Radboud University


E-mail Maartje

Hanneke Scholten title=
Hanneke Scholten
Co-Director of GEMH Lab

Researcher, interdisciplinary work and collaboration, wants to understand the how's and why's, loves her high heels and coffee in the morning, walks and talks too fast.


Assistant Professor at Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital


E-mail Hanneke

Ken Koontz title=
Ken Koontz
Creative Director of GEMH Lab

GEEK, Game designer, artist, producer, anime and video game enthusiast, American football player, and as of recently a newb gardener. I'm pretty much always down for new ventures and experiences - O' ley do it!


Founder of Koontz Interactive


E-mail Ken