Egypt's leading cigarette maker, the Eastern Tobacco Company, on Thursday announced new hikes in cigarette prices.
The decision to raise the price of cigarettes will come into effect as of Thursday, the company said in a statement.
The new increase is ranging between 1-5 Egyptian pounds per pack of smokes, the statement added.
Eastern Company supplies about 70 percent of Egypt's cigarette market.
The use of tobacco products in Egypt is widespread. It is estimated that approximately twenty percent of the population uses tobacco products daily. Cigarettes are the most common form of tobacco consumption in Egypt, with an estimated twenty billion cigarettes smoked annually in the country.
After cigarettes, shisha water-pipes are the most common form of tobacco consumption. Many Egyptians are not fully aware of the health risks of using a water-pipe and many believe it to be less harmful than cigarettes.
Recently legislation has passed in Egypt that prohibits smoking in public places and requires special warnings to be placed on tobacco packaging. Smoking is far more common among men than it is among women, however, the number of women smokers is on the rise.
The tobacco industry in Egypt is dominated by the Eastern Tobacco Company; however, since the cultivation of tobacco is prohibited in Egypt the manufacturer must rely entirely on imported tobacco. The number of adults smoking tobacco products in Egypt continues to rise, some suggest by as much as four to five percent annually