A file photo of cigarettes during the manufacturing process in the British American Tobacco Cigarette Factory (BAT) in Bayreuth, southern Germany, in April 30, 2014 (Photo:Reuters)
Egypt's cabinet approved on Wednesday measures that go in line with the World Health Organization's (WHO) protocol to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products, MENA reported.
The objective of the protocol is the elimination of all forms of illicit trade in tobacco.
The protocol was developed in response to the growing illegal trade in tobacco products, often across borders.
The protocol comprises a full range of measures to combat illicit trade distributed into three categories: preventing illicit trade, promoting law enforcement and providing the legal basis for international cooperation.
Meanwhile, Egypt's health ministry, in cooperation with the United Nations, launched on Wednesday the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) 2030 project.
The FCTC 2030 project aims to strengthen tobacco control in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) through promoting and supporting governments to accelerate the implementation of the WHO FCTC goals.
Head of the Central Department of Environmental Affairs Mayssa Hamza added that the agreement includes 181 countries, including Egypt.
In a press conference, WHO representative in Egypt John Gabor said Egypt is one of 15 countries worldwide with heavy tobacco-related illnesses – according to the World Health Organization’s 2017 standardised estimate of smoking prevalence.
The WHO figures show that 43.6 percent of men and 22.8 percent of Egypt’s population overall are daily tobacco smokers.
In 2008, WHO supported the Ministry of Health in taking effective measures to warn people about the dangers of tobacco use, and in 2011 Egypt included health warning images and a toll-free quit line number on all cigarette packs.
Tobacco is a major public health concern and a barrier to development around the world.
According to WHO, Egypt is a high-burden tobacco-use country implementing several of the best buy (MPOWER) measures to reduce tobacco use, with one measure at the highest level of achievement.
Egypt has been a party to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) since 2005.
The project is part of the WHO measures in Egypt as part of raising awareness regionally for more smoke-free environments.
The project also aims at providing tools to help monitor tobacco use; encouraging the government of Egypt to sign and implement the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco, and releasing studies highlighting the growing public health and economic costs of tobacco use.