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Egypt launches first monitoring tobacco center in region as smoking on the rise

In cooperation with the World Health Organization, Egypt launched the first observatory to monitor tobacco companies in the Middle East, as the country faces a growing number of tobacco users.
SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT - OCTOBER 26: An Egyptian man kneels down at a small cigarette stall on a restaurant strip popular with tourists on October 26, 2013 in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Sharm el-Sheikh, lying on the Red Sea coast in Egypt's South Sinai governorate, is one of Egypt's most popular destinations for tourists. Egypt's tourist industry has struggled since a popular uprising overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, and tourist numbers have taken a further dive since

CAIRO — Egypt’s Association against Smoking, Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases launched Dec. 22 the first observatory for tobacco control in Egypt and the Middle East to monitor any violations on the part of tobacco companies.

Essam el-Moghazy, chairman of the association, said in a phone interview with the Egyptian Mesat Channel Dec. 23 that Egyptians consume 4 billion packs of cigarettes annually, i.e., 80 billion cigarettes, at a cost of more than 70 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.4 billion). In addition, Egyptians consume 50,000 tons of muassel (tobacco used for hookah), costing 3 billion pounds ($191 million) a year, and other types of tobacco that include cigars and pipes.

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