Egypt | Programme areas | Tobacco


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Tobacco control is a major challenge in Egypt, with 24.4% of the adults currently using tobacco products and 50% of Egyptian people exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes. There are also increasing trends of young female uptake of tobacco, and an overall rise in shisha use. Tobacco is a driving force in the rising epidemic of chronic diseases in Egypt, such as lung disease, lung cancer, ischaemic heart disease and stroke.  

Egypt became a signatory to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2005 and has since made several key achievements towards tobacco control, including the provision of pictorial health images on tobacco products and increases in tobacco taxation. 

A tobacco ban on advertising has been implemented but indirect advertising is widespread through depictions of tobacco use in film and television drama. Moves have been made to provide smoke-free public environments but enforcement remains weak. 

WHO supports the implementation of effective tobacco control interventions in Egypt in line with best practice and evidence-based policies as outlined in the FCTC. 

In 2014 WHO and the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) conducted three landmark studies on tobacco in Egypt including an assessment of illicit tobacco trade, the use of shisha and smokeless tobacco among university students, and the tobacco health cost to the country. These studies provide an insight in to the challenges of tobacco control in Egypt and develop an evidence-base for making policy decisions. 

WHO provides support in the implementation of regular monitoring including the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, the STEPwise survey for NCD risk factors and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. 

WHO will continue to support Egypt in its implementation of the FCTC with a focus on encouraging increasing taxation of tobacco products in line with inflation and implementing smoke-free environments. 

WHO also encourages the Government to sign and implement the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco. The illicit cigarette market share in Egypt rose from 2% in 2009 to 19% in 2013, leading to a loss of government revenue and an increase in access to vulnerable groups.

Related links 

Regional Tobacco Free Initiative

Global Adult Tobacco Survey Egypt fact sheet and country report

Global Health Professions Student Survey fact sheets and country reports

Global School Personnel Survey fact sheets

Global Youth Tobacco Survey fact sheets and country reports

Related publications

Assessment of illicit tobacco trade | Arabic 

Tobacco health cost | Arabic

Shisha and smokeless tobaccoArabic