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Background: This article reports a pilot study of a new smoking cessation website ('StopAdvisor'), which has been developed on the basis of PRIME theory, evidence, web-design expertise and user-testing. The aims were to i) evaluate whether cessation, website usage and satisfaction were sufficiently high to warrant a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and ii) assess whether outcomes were affected by socio-economic status. Methods: This was an uncontrolled pilot study. Two hundred and four adult daily smokers willing to make a serious quit attempt were included. All participants received support from 'StopAdvisor', which recommends a structured quit plan and a variety of evidence-based behaviour change techniques for smoking cessation. A series of tunnelled sessions and a variety of interactive menus provide tailored support for up to a month before quitting through until one-month post-quit ( The primary outcome was self-report of at least 1. month of continuous abstinence collected at 2. months post-enrolment and verified by saliva cotinine or anabasine. Usage was indexed by log-ins and page views. Satisfaction was assessed by dichotomous ratings of helpfulness, personal relevance, likelihood of recommendation and future use, which were collected using an online questionnaire at 2. months post-enrolment. Outcomes according to socio-economic status were assessed. Results: At 8. weeks post-enrolment, 19.6% (40/204) of participants were abstinent according to the primary outcome criteria (95% C.I.=. 14.1% to 25.1%). Participants viewed a mean of 133.5 pages (median. =. 71.5) during 6.4 log-ins (median. =. 3). A majority of respondents rated the website positively on each of the four satisfaction ratings (range. =. 66.7% to 75.3%). There was no evidence of an effect of socio-economic status on abstinence (OR. =. 1.01, C.I.=. 0.50-2.07), usage (page-views, t(202). =. 0.11, p=. .91; log-ins, t(202). =. 0.21, p=. .83), or satisfaction (helpfulness, OR. =. 1.09, C.I.=. 0.41-2.88; personal relevance, OR. =. 0.55, C.I.=. 0.20-1.56; recommendation, OR. =. 0.98, C.I.=. 0.34-2.81; use in future, OR. =. 1.45, C.I.=. 0.49-4.27). Conclusions: The systematic application of theory, evidence, web-design expertise, and user-testing has resulted in a website that shows sufficiently promising efficacy and usability to warrant evaluation in a RCT. The website appears to be similarly effective and acceptable to users across the social spectrum. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Addictive behaviors

Publication Date





1365 - 1370