ENSP’s Key Messages for World Cancer Day


As the 4th of February approaches, ENSP invites all members and stakeholders to join the movement and share these 5 key messages and resources that advocate for a healthier future.

Cancer remains a serious threat affecting the lives of Europeans. Today, Europe accounts for a tenth of the world’s population, but a quarter of the world’s cancer cases severely impacts not only the life of the ones affected but also their families and puts major pressure on the Member States’ health and social systems and economies.

Tobacco consumption continues to be the leading cause of preventable cancer, with 27% of all cancers attributed to tobacco use. There are over 60 carcinogens in tobacco smoke that lead to development of cancers, in the lung and at least 16 other sites.


Tobacco use affects cancer treatment resulting in decreased therapeutic response, increased cancer recurrence, and increased cancer treatment complications. Cancer screening and/or diagnosis especially for the lung is a “teachable moment”, to present patients with the evidence that smoking causes adverse cancer treatment outcomes and help them realize that they can help to improve the effectiveness of their cancer treatment/overall health by accepting to receive support from evidence-based smoking cessation support programmes.

Unless we take decisive action, lives lost to cancer in the EU are set to increase by more than 24% by 2035. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and Mission on Cancer are the EU’s response to jointly work to improve the lives of Europeans through Prevention, Early Detection, Treatment and Quality of Life for cancer patients and their families.

Achieving a Tobacco-Free Europe is one of the main priorities of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, as described in the “Saving lives through sustainable cancer prevention” pillar. The European Commission is determined to put forward and support actions to achieve a “Tobacco-Free Generation’ where less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040” and reduce the burden of tobacco-induced diseases including cancer. This will be achieved through the rigorous enforcement/revisions of the EU tobacco control legislation and its adaptation to new developments and market trends, including stricter rules on novel products which are expected this year.

Get involved – form a healthy future for the next generation! Aligned with the European Commission’s priorities, the European Citizens’ Initiative “Tobacco Free Environment and the First European Tobacco-Free Generation by 2030” led by No Fumadores and ENSP, was launched on the 26th of January 2023, as a form of citizen involvement in the European policy-making.

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