Cancer and Tobacco Control

CANSA internationally recognised for its no-tobacco campaign

Written by Health-e News

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) was recently awarded with the 2009 World No Tobacco Day Achievement Award presented to CANSA CEO, Sue Janse van Rensburg by Dr Stella Anyangwe, World Health Organization Representative in South Africa, at a recently hosted Symposium on Environmental Carcinogens in Pretoria in honour of World Cancer Day held on 4 February 2010.

This is in recognition of CANSA’s accomplishments in the fight against tobacco use in South Africa. Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO), recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of Special Director-General Awards and World No Tobacco Day Awards.

“Tobacco is the world’s leading preventable cause of death and the only product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends,” Dr Anyangwe says.

Worldwide, more than 5 million people die from tobacco each year – more than from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.   Unless urgent action is taken, there will be more than 8 million annual deaths globally by 2030, with more than 80% of those in developing countries. Up to half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease.”

“Research shows that up to 90% of cancers are caused by environmental factors, of which smoking is the most prevalent,” says CANSA CEO, Sue Janse van Rensburg. “Over 44 000 South Africans die from tobacco-related diseases annually and many more become ill from using tobacco products and inhaling second-hand smoke. Smoking is the main cause of cancer.   The good news is that most of these deaths are preventable by giving up smoking in time,” Van Rensburg concludes.


CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa by offering a unique and integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer.   As a leading role-player in cancer research (R4,5 million spent annually), the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. CANSA has more than 330 staff, 12 000 volunteers, 51 offices as well as 11 interim homes countrywide.

(For more information, contact Lucy Balona, CANSA Head: Marketing & Communications on 011 616 7662 / 082 459 5230 or call CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22, or see

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Health-e News

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