Global Epidemic



  • 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.

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.

FCTC Status

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

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free environments: Egypt's smoke-free law is not compliant with Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Smoking is completely banned in health and educational establishments, governmental offices, sporting and social clubs, youth centers and other places designated by the Minister of Health. However, restaurants and bars are not covered, and enforcement is weak.

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

Warning labels: Egypt is one of five countries that adopted graphic health warnings for tobacco products in 2008. Egypt's law requires all tobacco products to have a graphic warning cover 50% of the front and 50% of the pack.

Tobacco taxes: The most popular brand of cigarettes in Egypt is taxed at 74% of retail price.

Updated: August 2013