Cancer

Updated 13 April 2017

Smoking and cancer

Research has shown that twenty-five thousand people die from smoking-related diseases in South Africa every year,” according to Welile Shasha, head of the World Health Organisation in South Africa. How does smoking affect your health?

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“Smoking is responsible for thirty percent of all cancers”, says Dr Carl Albrecht, chief researcher from the Cancer Association of South Africa.

“Research has shown that twenty-five thousand people die from smoking-related diseases in South Africa every year,” according to Welile Shasha, head of the World Health Organisation in South Africa.

“There are only two causes of death rising worldwide – HIV/AIDS and smoking related illnesses.”

“Tobacco smoke contains more than 4500 chemical compounds, 43 of them known carcinogens,” according to Peter Ucko, acting director of the National Council Against Smoking in South Africa.

Despite what tobacco companies want people to believe, studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of all cancers, including cancer of the lungs, the mouth, the tongue, the larynx, pancreas, the bladder and breast cancer in men.

Furthermore, the health risks of cigarette smoking are not limited to smokers. A non-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer is significantly increased by being exposed to carcinogens present in environmental tobacco smoke.

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addictive and the addiction is similar to those that determine cocaine and heroine addiction, according to a study released by the US surgeon general. This partially explains why quitting smoking is so difficult. But within 48 hours of giving up, your body starts to repair the lung damage caused by cigarette smoke.

Read more:
Cancer Centre
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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit cansa.org.za.

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