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Have you run out of cigarettes during the lockdown? Thinking about quitting smoking, but cannot wait to buy cigarettes again?

Cansa has launched a three-month online programme of guidance, encouragement and support for those who want to quit smoking.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa, 70% of smokers do not make an attempt to quit because of the fear of failure.

Against this backdrop, the association has come up with Kick Butt, a three-month programme to help you quit smoking with the needed support, and it’s free. Simply sign up and enroll in Cansa’s Kick Butt programme. You have the option to unsubscribe at any time.

Support is available online by just activating your e-mail series and you will receive instructions and a link. To quit smoking is to start a journey to new health and freedom from addiction, which will be much easier with the help of online friends, and drill sergeant Kick Butt.

Cansa’s eKick Butt programme is a unique online smoking cessation programme, guiding and mentoring people who wants to stop smoking through a series of e-mails, surveys and downloads to quit smoking, helping you to make non-smoking a lifelong habit with a series of handy, tried and tested tools to help those committed to stop smoking, do so.

South Africa has more than seven million smokers.

According to the World Health Organization, “tobacco contains nicotine, a powerful and highly addictive substance. Most tobacco products deliver nicotine to the brain very effectively, bringing on the rapid onset and maintenance of addiction. This addiction leads to the unfortunate situation where an otherwise rationale motivated, knowledgeable person, who understands the risks of tobacco, continues to use it”.

Cansa’s own statistics show that tobacco-related diseases kill over 44 000 South Africans and 5,4 million people worldwide annually, making tobacco use one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.

Tobacco kills up to half of all users, and almost half of the world’s children breathe in air polluted by tobacco smoke. Tobacco use is the second cause of death globally (after hypertension) and is currently responsible for one in 10 deaths worldwide. According to the WHO, globally, most people start smoking before the age of 18, and almost a quarter of these individuals begin using tobacco before the age of 10. The younger children are when they first try smoking, the more likely they are to become regular tobacco users and the less likely they are to quit.

Lung cancer, which is mostly caused by smoking, is the second most common cancer contracted in South African men, with one in 59 men diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime, as tobacco and second-hand smoke contain over 1 400 chemicals, including nicotine, causing tobacco to be very addictive.

Tobacco smoke contains over 300 cancer causing chemicals also known as carcinogens and tobacco use increases the risk of cancer of the lungs, esophagus, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach, cervix and breast. Smoking can also cause heart attacks, strokes, emphysema and even impotence.

Sharing hookahs/water pipes/hubbly bubbly also increases the risk of developing tuberculosis as well as other communicable diseases including viral hepatitis and oral herpes infections.

Inhaling smoke poses several risks to young children, such as increased risk allergies and asthma if one of the parents smokes, especially the mother. The first two to three days of quitting are the most difficult, but the information supplied will be tailored to your needs and, with support, will ensure you have the best possible chance to successfully quit smoking.

For the next three months, persons enrolled in programme can expect an e-mail of encouragement on a weekly basis to encourage them and provide them with guidelines and practical advice for the week ahead. Making the decision to quit is an achievement in itself. Don’t say to yourself you will try to quit – make a conscious decision to stop. Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment.

Any queries regarding the programme may be directed to the toll free call centre at 0800 22 66 22 or For specific queries regarding therapy, contact Nellie Prinsloo (registered clinical psychologist and registered nurse) per email:

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