Egypt govt denies further tax increases on cigarettes

The Egyptian Cabinet’s media center on Wednesday denied social media rumors that the government would impose new tax increases on cigarettes in the 2019/2020 state budget.

In a statement released Wednesday, the center said it contacted the Finance Ministry which denied imposing any tax increases in on tobacco products and cigarettes, domestic or foreign.

Prices for all types of cigarettes increased at a minimum of LE1.5 per pack in July 2018.

According to 2018 National Health Survey, monitoring risk factors for non-communicable diseases in Egypt, around 22.8 percent of Egyptians are smokers.

The average monthly expenditure for each smoker on cigarettes is LE410, which is a high percentage, compared to the global expenditure rates on smoking.

According to Health Ministry, more than half of Egypt’s population is exposed to secondhand smoke. 48.9 percent of Egyptians are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, and 36.5 percent in the workplace.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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