Minister: Smoking to be banned in Egyptian public spaces by 2015

Smoking will be officially banned in all public places in Egypt by 2015, Health Minister Hatem al-Gabli announced this week.

Violators, he said, would be subject to fines of LE1000 for taxi drivers, LE15,000 for coffee shop owners and LE100 for everyone else.

At a recent session of parliament, al-Gabli noted that Egyptians smoke a total of 80 billion cigarettes annually, adding that the ministry aimed to reduce this figure to a mere 70 billion by 2015.

Al-Gabli also pointed out that 9.8 percent of Egypt's population was infected with the hepatitis C virus, noting that the ministry's goal was to reduce this percentage to 6.8 by 2015.

The minister went on to warn that the number of diabetes patients was set to rise from a current 4 million cases nationwide to 9 million cases if public awareness about the disease was not substantially raised.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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