Last Update 19:3
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Egypt announces immediate cigarette price hikes, directed towards new national health insurance system

It remains unclear whether the new increases will also apply to cigarettes produced by foreign-owned companies such as BAT-Egypt and Philip Morris International

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Jul 2018
File Photo of Cigarettes (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 4120
Views: 4120

Egypt’s leading cigarette maker, the Eastern Tobacco Company, said it has raised prices by 10-15 percent starting Thursday, only days after the country launched the first phase of its new national health insurance system, which will be covered through the new hike.

In televised statements Wednesday, company chairman Mohamed Haroun said that 50 percent of the new price increase will be directed into the health insurance system, with the remaining 50 percent coming from taxes.

According to Haroun, the company’s cheapest Cleopatra brand, which has long dominated the market, will be sold at EGP17 instead of EGPT15.5, with the lower quality brand sold at EGP16 instead of EGP14.5 — the cheapest in Egypt.

It remains unclear whether the new increase will also apply to cigarettes produced by foreign-owned companies such as BAT-Egypt and Philip Morris International, which of both use Eastern Company factories to manufacture locally-sold products.

Eastern Company supplies about 70 percent of Egypt's cigarette market, which Haroun put at about 83 billion cigarettes a year.

In recent years, Egyptian smokers have been faced with multiple price hikes due a drop in imports of tobacco — among other imported goods after a foreign currency shortage since 2011 — as well as new taxation.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.