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Hooked for Life – Big Tobacco Companies Seduce Youth

Hooked for Life – Big Tobacco Companies Seduce Youth

CANSA is concerned about the burden of tobacco in South Africa, and especially about the recent tactics adopted by the tobacco industry to target youth.

The initial success of legislation of the past 20 years such as the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act No.12 (1999), hikes in excise duty on cigarettes, and health promotions to educate on risks of tobacco use initially led to a 30 % decrease in smoking among school learners. However, the figures show that smoking, especially among female learners is on the rise again.

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After the decline in youth smoking, tobacco manufacturers realised that they would have to find new ways to attract youth to use their products, and engaged in systematic market research generating data on population trends, smoking patterns and attitudes towards smoking in this age group.

Research showed tobacco use was often initiated and established during adolescence and young adulthood (90% of smokers start the habit by age 18 and 99% start by age 26), so it made sense for them to target young people, who would then become addicted to their products and potentially hooked for life.

Tobacco manufacturers began to entice new users, mostly youth, to start and continue smoking, by making the experience more pleasant. By altering the taste, smell and other sensory attributes of products through adding chemical additives, they maximised the appeal of tobacco products in this age group.

Tobacco Companies Target Youth

Tobacco Companies Target Youth

CANSA appeals to young people, to be aware of these tactics and understand that these alterations to products, while enhancing the experience, do nothing to reduce the long-term negative effects of smoking or the risk for several cancers.

“Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product which kills people when it is used entirely as intended.” (The Oxford Medical Companion – 1994)

Tobacco Use Puts You & Others at Risk

Would you knowingly put yourself or a loved one in harm’s way?

It’s not likely that you would and yet research shows that this is exactly what you do when you light up.

Smoking not only affects your health, but also those around you. Even when you have left the room and the smoke can no longer be seen, poisonous substances cling to surfaces that your loved ones may touch. Passive smoking (second hand smoking) and third hand smoke (residue that clings to surfaces) can negatively affect health too.

Here we share the facts with you in the hope that you will be motivated to quit the habit & to take charge of your health.

Reduce Your Cancer Risk:

1. Think Through Why Should You Quit

  • Tobacco-related diseases kill over 44 000 South Africans and seven million people worldwide annually, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke…
  • Tobacco usage increases the risk of over 18 types of cancer: cancer of the lungs, renal pelvis, oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, nasopharynx, oesophagus, larynx, nasal cavity and sinus, ureter, bladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach, colorectum, uterine cervix, breast, ovary and myeloid leukaemia. See latest fact sheets re these cancers…
  • Smoking during pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke are both linked to miscarriages, low birth weights and stillbirths. Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • It’s not only cigarettes that are harmful to health: hookah pipe (hubbly bubbly) smoking, cigars, pipes and tobacco products consumed orally or nasally (snuff, snus, chewing tobacco), also have a detrimental effect on health. Electronic cigarettes have not been scientifically proven to be safe either.

Read eNewsletter

Kick the Habit

Be Tobacco-Free & Healthy!

2. Decide to Quit:

Quitting tobacco use can have a positive effect on your health and lifestyle including:

  • reducing the risk of cancer and respiratory diseases
  • lowering heart rate and blood pressure
  • breathing better and being able to walk without shortness of breath
  • having more physical energy
  • being a good role model for children & protecting them
  • living a longer and healthier life

Read more benefits of quitting & see how long it takes for your body to recover…

Today is as good a time as any to make the choice to empower yourself and kick butt for a healthy and happy life. Decide to quit and set a quit date (start mentally preparing yourself to quit), making sure that you have a support system to help ensure you quit for good. See more tips below:

Quit Smoking

3. Stay Tobacco-Free:

You will need support to break you addiction. Sign up for CANSA’s eKick Butt Programme – a unique online smoking cessation programme…

Find additional support resources to help you quit for good here…

And if at first you don’t succeed, evaluate where you think things went wrong, put measures in place to prevent the same mistake into the future and most importantly, try, try and try again!

4. Play Your Part in Tobacco Control:

CANSA Supports Plain Packaging

CANSA supports the call from the Secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that requires tobacco products to have plain packaging and graphic warning signs.

Tobacco still remains one of the biggest killers in the world, albeit in the form of cancer or other tobacco-related diseases. On top of the health implications, tobacco products are getting more expensive and are creating a huge negative impact on the economy.

CANSA welcomes the stand that the country is taking against tobacco use, with the introduction of plain packaging.


Has Cancer Touched Your Life?

Cancer affects one in four South Africans, through diagnosis of family, friends, colleagues or self.

We want you to know that you are not alone and that we would like to support you and your loved ones, regardless of how cancer has touched your life.

Find info & online resources to help you fight cancer and please read more about CANSA’s Holistic Care & Support which is offered at our CANSA Care Centres countrywide.


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