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CANSA Offers Support to Public to Help Quit During Lockdown

One sure way to protect yourself from Covid-19: Stop Smoking.

We would like to help you…

Now that the country is in lockdown, and cigarettes, hookah pipes and other electronic vaping devices are no longer being sold, many people have the chance to seize the opportunity to stop smoking when their cigarettes, and other related products run out.

While smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, do not cause COVID-19, your risk increases if you are a smoker and suffer another health condition such as cardio-vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory illness, TB and so on.

There are benefits for smokers who are motivated to stop now.

“People who smoke are at increased risk of lung infections in general, but the lungs do heal over time when people stop smoking,” says Kalideen from the National Council against Smoking.

There are other health benefits too says Dr Catherine Egbe from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council, because smokers who stop quit, will begin to experience some physiological changes within hours of quitting, and over time their susceptibility to lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia also decreases.

Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, adds that non-smokers generally have better “heart and brain health”, and consequently are less vulnerable to becoming infected with the coronavirus. Therefore, it’s in the smoker’s best interest to change their behavior positively to give up smoking in order to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses and COVID-19 onset.

Help for Smokers

There is help for smokers who want to stop smoking, and who want to understand more about how they will feel during the time that they transition from smoking to not smoking.

  • The National Council against Smoking runs a telephone counselling Quitline on 011 720 3145 and can support smokers who want to give up by sending daily messages for 30 days on Whatsapp to motivate you to stay away from cigarettes and manage the symptoms of withdrawal that may come with quitting.
  • CANSA runs an online programme which also provides support and information for smokers who would like to stop smoking. The programme can be accessed on
  • CANSA’s partner Allen Carr’s Easyway South Africa is rising to the occasion in these challenging times. Their commitment to helping clients achieve their goal of finding freedom from the smoking trap during the national lock down is inspiring. The Allen Carr Easyway seminar programme is now available live through video webinar, helping smokers quit from the comfort of their own home. Any questions may be directed to 0861100200 or via
  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation has professional staff that can provide educational support during the challenging time you may face when trying to quit tobacco smoking. During the period of the lockdown you may call 084 250 7374 for assistance.


When you stop smoking, you might experience some withdrawal symptoms like a dry mouth, coughing, nausea or cravings. Your cravings will go away after a week or two, and our support tools will help you think of ways to overcome your cravings.

This is the perfect time to quit. You have the lockdown period to regain your strength, your money and your health.

Do you have a question?
Book a counselling session

CANSA Tele Counselling

 0800 22 6622 Toll Free
 072 197 9305 English and Afrikaans (text only)
 071 867 3530 Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati (text only)


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