Egypt, CAPMAS Study Graphic Photos on Cigarette Packs - NOT EFFECTIVE..

October 20, 2008 - In Egypt, as of August 2008, cigarette packs have featured graphic images about the dangers of smoking; death, lung disease and impotence (covering 50 percent of the pack on both sides). A study by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistic (CAPMAS) found that pictures on cigarette packs has not affected the number of smokers, nor cigarette sales.

The study by CAPMAS also found that more than 5 percent of an Egyptian family’s income is spent on cigarettes versus 2 percent of the income which is spent on health. In addition, the study also stated that developing nations spend $2,000 billion annually on cigarettes and citizens below the age of 35 represent 67 percent of total smokers in the Egypt.

Egyptians are among the heaviest smokers in the world. Egypt is one of the top fifteen countries with smoking problems - nearly 60% of its adult male population smoke in a country of 79 million people. An estimated 2 percent of Egyptian women smoke — though most researchers believe female smoking is greatly under reported due to social taboos against it that push female smoking into private areas. Egypt has the highest consumption of tobacco in the Middle East and North African Region. Egyptians smoke 19 billion cigarettes a year, spending LE 3 billion (USD533,289,379.38) annually, and smokers in Egypt increases by 6 to 9 percent every year as compared to 1 percent in the West. Metal cigarette boxes are popular in Egypt.

According to Dr Wael Safwat, a gastroenterologist and smoking cessation specialist, prices and warning signs alone will not affect cigarette sales; there needs to be a change in the society’s perception of the smoker. He recommended increasing non-smoking areas as well as anti-smoking campaigns. He also suggested the formation of support groups that can help smokers quit.

In May 2008 smokers were hit with a 10 percent rise in the cost of a pack of cigarettes. A young construction worker buying the domestically-made Cleopatra cigarettes said he has no choice but to pay the difference for the cigarette cost.
He said smoking is one of the few ways he can relax. He was at a corner shop buying five packs of Cleopatra cigarettes at about 75 piasters extra a box, or about 14 cents more per pack. "How can I quit smoking. People who smoke can't just give it up," he said, "What are we supposed to do but pay the difference?" ) Egyptians Concerned After Parliament Votes to Increase Fuel Costs, Taxes, Voice of American by Aya Batrawy, 5/7/2008.)

Relate news briefs: Egypt - warning pictures on cigarette packs - INEFFECTIVE.. and Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..

Reference: Graphic photo on cigarette packs has zero effect on smokers, says CAPMAS study by Safaa Abdoun, Daily News - Egypt, 10/19/2008 and Egypt Passes National Anti-Smoking Law, vitabeat health & wellness, 6/21/2007.



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