Welcome to the #ProtectourNext Press Office.


Smoking harms and kills both men and women, but women face unique and even greater health risks from smoking than men.  This Women’s Month, health organisations forming part of the #protectournext partnership, including the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa (HSFSA), are driving awareness of these risks and encouraging women to quit through the Tobacco: The Ugly Truth campaign. 

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Tobacco use is the preventable cause of cancer in the world. Estimates suggest that approximately one-third of all cancers are caused by tobacco use. In South Africa, lung cancer features among the top five cancers in the country. 

In support of World Lung Cancer Day on 1 August, the Protect our Next partner organisation, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is calling for more awareness and understanding of lung cancer risk factors, particularly smoking, as well as emphasising the importance of screening and early detection.  “The best way to lower your risk of lung cancer is to avoid tobacco smoke completely. It’s never too late to stop smoking, but the sooner you stop, the better,” says Lorraine Govender, National Manager: Health Promotion for CANSA.

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In addition to the extreme cost to your health, smoking hits your wallet. As a student, as a mom, as a young worker, as someone who wants to save money and be healthy – cigarettes should not be a line item on your budget. If you need another reason to quit smoking, think about how much of your weekly income is going up in smoke. This July Savings Month, it’s time to kick the smoking habit and save your money and your health.

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E-cigarettes first emerged in the US in 2007 and have continued to evolve, with the new generation products featuring sleek, high-tech designs. These products have seen large uptake by the youth and have resulted in skyrocketing youth addiction to nicotine. Data reveals about one in five high school students in the US used e-cigarettes in 2020, many of whom were not smokers in the first place. South Africa’s health experts forming part of the #protectournext movement are sounding the alarm,  concerned that this ‘e-cigarette epidemic’ will soon take hold in South Africa if e-cigarettes are not better regulated. 

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Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that in South Africa (SA) alone, smoking results in more than half of lung cancer deaths, 37% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease deaths, and over 20% of cardiovascular deaths and tuberculosis (TB) deaths. Smoking-related TB deaths are especially prevalent in South Africa, due to a higher vulnerability of HIV-positive individuals to TB.  Because it attacks the lungs, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke or vape.

The new Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill will make it easier for South Africans to choose smoke-free lives, regulate the danger of e-cigarettes and decrease the impact of second-hand smoke on the majority of the population, who are non-smokers. Why is taking time to implement? Tobacco industry profits are at the expense of addicted smokers, their families, and public health.  Together, the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa are steadfast in campaigning for the new Bill to be passed. It’s time for our people and our government to show leadership in implementing global best practice to curb the onslaught of big tobacco. 

Zanele Mthembu, Public Health Development and Policy Consultant

Savera Kalideen, Executive Director of the National Council Against Smoking 

Sharon Nyatsanza, Project and Communications Manager, National Council Against Smoking 

Lorraine Govender, National Advocacy Co-Ordinator, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)

Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa

Dr Catherine Egbe, Specialist Scientist: Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council

Tamaryn Brown
Connect Media for Cart Agency
+27 (0) 84 3510560

Nirvana Kishoon 
Cart Agency
+27 (0) 82 823 3167


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