Egyptians Consume 85 Billion Cigarettes Every Year
It was reported that over 13 million Egyptian smokers are consuming over 85 billion cigarettes a year, listing Egypt as one of the heaviest smoking country in the world.
While smokers in developing countries are kicking the habit at a rate of 1.5 percent annually, Egypt’s consumption is increasing at an alarming rate, said The Egyptian Gazette. The official statistics showed that over 439,000 of the smokers in the country are young children aged between 15 and 10 years old.
The figures also indicate that the number of the young smokers who are under 10 years old are 74,000, the paper noted that this number would be much higher if unofficial figures were to be considered.
Standing up to this phenomenon, Egypt has organized a national campaign against smoking, to spread awareness among young children.
According to the paper, President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, the campaign's patron, is expected to give details of the three-year program at an upcoming conference on fighting smoking.
The campaign will be an uphill battle in a country where smoking is equated with raw masculinity, said the report.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of Egyptian women are taking up the habit, added the Gazette.
For his part, the health minister Ismail Sallam attributed the rise in cigarette consumption in part to bad role models. Parents, teachers and doctors who smoke set bad examples for children, many of whom experiment with smoking at an early age as a rite of passage, he said – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)