The Global Toll of Tobacco


Chart showing prevalence of tobacco use in Egypt, 2009)Consumption

  • Almost 20 percent of Egyptians use tobacco.
  • Rates are much higher among men: 38 percent of men and 0.6 percent of women use some form of tobacco.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 4 percent smoke cigarettes (boys 6 percent; girls 1 percent) and 10 percent use tobacco products other than cigarettes (boys 12 percent; girls 7 percent).
  • Common forms of tobacco used include cigarettes, shisha, and cigars.

Chart showing tobacco use among youth in Egypt, 2005) Health Consequences

Tobacco use is deadly. Smoking kills up to half of all lifetime users.

  • 90 percent of all lung cancer cases in Egypt are due to tobacco use.
  • 44 percent of youth (age 13-15) are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 39 percent of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
  • Nearly 71 percent of the Egyptians allow smoking inside their homes and more than half (51 percent) report exposure to secondhand smoke on a weekly basis.
  • Almost 61 percent of all workers, who work indoors, are exposed to secondhand smoke at work. Nearly 59 percent of all these workers are non-smoking workers.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 44 percent of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 39 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

Tobacco Industry

Eastern Company SAE is the sole manufacturer of cigarettes in the country and holds 83 percent of the total cigarette market. Philip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) both contract with Eastern Company SAE to produce PMI and BAT cigarettes. In 2008, PMI had 11.5 percent of the cigarette market and BAT had almost 5 percent. In 2008, over 75 billion cigarettes were sold in Egypt.

Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) Status

Egypt ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 25, 2005.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free environments: Egypt has a national ban on smoking in healthcare, educational and government facilities, however the law does not include restaurants and bars.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Egypt bans most forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Warning labels: Warning labels are graphic and cover 50 percent of the front and 50 percent of the back of packs.

Tobacco taxes: Cigarettes are becoming more affordable in Egypt as prices aren’t keeping up with inflation. Tobacco taxes in Egypt are below the rate recommended by the World Bank (from 65 percent to 80 percent of retail price) that is commonly present in countries with effective tobacco control policies.

Updated: February 2011


Fact Sheets

Global Adult Tobacco Survey

Tobacco Control Groups

  • Youth Association for Population and Development (Egypt)

  • Directorate of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health, Alexandria, Egypt

  • Ministry of Health and Population

  • WHO/WRO/Egypt


  • Tobacco Taxes in Egypt
    | Arabic based on
    The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Taxation in Egypt
    English | Arabic
    By Khaled Hanafy, Ashraf Salah Eldin Saleh, Mariam Ezzat Badr Eldin Elmallah, Haidy Mohamed Amer Omar, Dina Bakr, Frank J. Chaloupka

  • WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office Tobacco-Free Initiative

  • Relevant Laws


    Promulgating Labor Law — Law 137/1981 (Regulates smoking in workplaces)

    Promulgating the Environment Law — Law 4/1994 (Regulates smoke-free areas)

    Law 52/1981 on the Protection from Smoking Dangers (Regulates smoke-free areas and cigarette tar levels)