The University of Southampton

The development and evaluation of an internet-based smoking cessation intervention (ISCI)

Virtual Communities and Social Systems
Medical Research Council (MRC)

There is a need for effective smoking cessation support that can reach smokers who are unwilling or unable to access face-to-face sessions or telephone support (>90% of smokers). There is also a need to develop an incremental technology of behaviour change. The internet could meet both those needs. The proposal is to develop an interactive internet-based smoking cessation programme and evaluate its effectiveness, attractiveness and usability in comparison with a simple system that delivers untailored smoking cessation advice. If effective, this system would form a module for the NHS LifeCheck programme and the NHS Health Trainers Programme.

The proposed research addresses how smokers can be better assisted in their attempts to stop. It aims to: 1. To develop an effective interactive internet-based smoking cessation programme for use in the UK that will have wide potential reach by virtue of being attractive and easy to use and that will, in particular, meet the needs of smokers from routine and manual occupational groups. 2. To obtain reliable estimates of the effectiveness of this programme compared with a simpler internet-based programme that presents advice and tips on quitting but is not interactive.

Primary investigators

  • Gary Wills
  • Prof Robert West (Epidemilogy and Public Health)
  • Prof Lucy Yarley (Health Psychology)

Secondary investigator

  • aco


  • ucl

Associated research groups

  • Electronic and Software Systems
  • Learning Societies Lab
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