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Egypt ups prices of cigarettes as part of economic reforms

/ 05:10 PM July 12, 2018

CAIRO  — Egypt has hiked the prices of cigarettes, the latest measure amid reforms designed to overhaul the country’s troubled economy, still reeling from a costly 2011 uprising.

The government’s decision, which took effect on Thursday, imposes an increase of 1.5-3 Egyptian pounds, or about 8-17 cents, per pack of smokes.

Mohamed Haroun, Eastern Tobacco Company chairman, Egypt’s top cigarette manufacturer, told local media earlier the increase would help fund a new health services system by over 3 billion Egyptian pounds annually, or $168 million.

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He says Egyptians consume about 83 billion cigarettes each year.

Egypt has introduced hikes on fuel, drinking water and electricity as well as on new cellular phone lines, monthly charges, issuing passports and cars’ licensing.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has repeatedly urged patience as reforms take effect. /ee

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