Effectiveness of an Online Integrated Treatment for Problem Gambling and Tobacco Smoking

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Manitoba
Updated on 21 May 2021
motivational interviewing
behavior therapy
psychiatric disorder
other mental disorders


Research has shown that problem gambling and tobacco smoking are highly comorbid. Problem gamblers who smoke tend to: have more severe gambling problems, experience stronger gambling urges, have other mental disorders, bet larger sums of money, spend more time in gambling activities, and have greater financial problems. Accordingly, it might be helpful to reduce your smoking as well, while you are trying to get a grip on your gambling.

Previous studies have treated gambling on its own or tobacco smoking on its own. To date, there has not been a treatment that has targeted treating both at the same time. Considering how often these conditions occur together, it is important to see if combining their treatment results in beneficial outcomes. In the current research, the researchers aim to design and test an online, self-help intervention for co-occurring problem gambling and tobacco smoking. It will draw on strategies from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) - both which have been shown to be successful in treating problem gambling and tobacco smoking. These outcomes will be compared to a group that receives treatment for problem gambling only. This research will provide insight into a potential new intervention for treating two highly co-occurring conditions.


The researchers are hoping to recruit 300 participants for this study. Half (150) of these individuals will receive the integrated treatment, where both gambling and smoking behaviours will be addressed. Those in the integrated group will be encouraged to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of nicotine patches. These patches will be provided to participants at the beginning of the intervention and will be encouraged to use for the duration of the 8-weeks. The the other half of the participants (150) will receive the problem gambling treatment only.

Once participants provided informed consent and are registered on the treatment website, they will be asked to complete a baseline assessment in order to determine eligibility. Eligible participants will be those that: are aged 19 years old+, have at least moderate levels of gambling, report current daily smoking, are fluent in English, have weekly internet access, and report at least moderate motivation to change gambling and/or smoking behaviours.

Once the link is available, participants will complete the online, self-help 8-week treatment. At the end of the program, they will complete the same brief questionnaires. Six months following the completion of the online program, they will complete the same series of brief questionnaires.

Condition Gambling Disorder
Treatment Gambling and Smoking Treatment, Gambling only treatment
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03614884
SponsorUniversity of Manitoba
Last Modified on21 May 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

ages 19+
problem gambling status based on reporting a score of > 3 on the Problem Gambling Severity Index
reporting current daily smoking
fluency in English
have weekly Internet access
report at least moderate motivation to change gambling and/or smoking behaviours

Exclusion Criteria

Those that are identified as "Higher" risk on the suicide screener
self-reported engagement in other psychosocial treatments for problem gambling and/or smoking
past-90 day psychosis or mania
presence of a severe substance use disorder (SUD) (For alcohol, individuals with a score of > 20 on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) will be excluded from the study. For substance use, individuals with a score of > 5 on the Drug Abuse Screening Test-10 (DAST-10) will be excluded)
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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