Theoretical frameworks such as the theory of planned behavior (TPB) can be applied to design and evaluate smoking behavior interventions. The present systematic review aimed to: (i) determine the characteristics of TPB-based interventions and their reported impact on smoking behavior and TPB variables, (ii) evaluate the level of methodological quality in the included studies, and (iii) assess the quality of the theoretical implementation. Studies were eligible for inclusion if the intervention targeted smoking behavior, was explicitly based on the TPB, and if smoking behavior or intention was measured at least at post-intervention. Relevant articles were identified through searches on databases and internet search engines, responses to messages sent on thematic forums, consultation of prominent authors, and manual searches on key websites and key TPB-publications. Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. A majority of studies (65%) targeted the student population (i.e., elementary school, high school, university). Interventions minimally included the provision of health messages. The proportion of studies that reported a significant impact on smoking behavior, intention, attitude, subjective norm, or PBC ranged between 42% and 50%. Regarding methodological quality, unclear or high risks of bias were notably found regarding the selection of participants, data collection methods, withdrawal and drop-outs, and blinding. Regarding theoretical implementation, the reciprocal link between intervention techniques and TPB variables targeted remain unclear for a majority of studies. To better inform tobacco prevention and TPB research, future studies should more systematically use rigorous methods when designing, implementing, and reporting TPB-based interventions.
This review was conducted with rigorous methodology. However, the specificity of theoretical based interventions would interest researchers closely involved in the field of smoking cessation. Practitioners would like to read pragmatic strategies for intervention of tobacco.