Health Minister Ashraf Hatem on Sunday said the goverment will increase taxes on cigarette companies to 70 percent.
To recognize the international No Tobacco Day, Hatem said Egypt spends around LE3 million to 4 million annually on treating smoking-related diseases.
The World Health Organization has issued reports criticizing low taxes imposed by the Egyptian government on cigarette companies, pointing out that this encourages smoking.
A report issued in March showed that increasing taxes effectively discourages people from smoking.
Ninety percent of lung cancers in Egypt are caused by smoking, the report added, and 44 percent of Egyptian youth between the ages of 13 and 15 are affected by passive smoking in public areas.
Translated from the Arabic Edition