Discriminative cues for different stages of smoking cessation in online community

Thin Nguyen, Ron Borland, John Yearwood, Hua-Hie Yong, Svetha Venkatesh, Dinh Phung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death, being responsible for about six million deaths annually worldwide. Most smokers want to quit, but many find quitting difficult. The Internet enables people interested in quitting smoking to connect with others via online communities; however, the characteristics of these discussions are not well understood. This work aims to explore the textual cues of an online community interested in quitting smoking: www.reddit.com/r/ stopsmoking – “a place for redditors to motivate each other to quit smoking”. A total of approximately 5, 000 posts were randomly selected from the community. Four subgroups of posts based on the cessation days of abstainers were defined: S0: within the first week, S1: within the first month (excluding cohort S0), S2: from second month to one year, and S3: beyond one year. Psycho-linguistic features and content topics were extracted from the posts and analysed. Machine learning techniques were used to discriminate the online conversations in the first week S0 from the other subgroups. Topics and psycho-linguistic features were found to be highly valid predictors of the subgroups, possibly providing an important step in understanding social media and its use in studies of smoking and other addictions in online settings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWeb Information Systems Engineering – WISE 2016
Subtitle of host publication17th International Conference Shanghai, China, November 8–10, 2016 Proceedings, Part II
EditorsWojciech Cellary, Mohamed F. Mokbel, Jianmin Wang, Hua Wang, Rui Zhou, Yanchun Zhang
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783319487434
ISBN (Print)9783319487427
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2016 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 8 Nov 201610 Nov 2016
Conference number: 17th
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-48740-3 (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2016
Abbreviated titleWISE 2016
Internet address


  • Feature extraction
  • Smoking cessation
  • Textual cues
  • Web community

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