Egypt is to introduce a cigarette ban starting from the city of Alexandria which prohibits smoking in government buildings.
However the Egyptian government is facing a steep challenge as the country is the largest consumer of cigarettes amongst the Arab nations.
According to official reports by the Arab nation, Egyptians consumes over 19 billion cigarettes a year which is concern for public health.
The ban will start in Alexandria the countries second largest city, for tryouts, with Egyption authorities expanding the procedure to the rest of the country in the next two years.
Though there is a current ban which prohibits smoking in government buildings and public areas, many people defy the law.
The new rules and regulations introduced will have tougher penalties for both smokers and the office or business owners which allow their employees and customers to smoke.
Though the ban will only cover government buildings, it is expected to spread to cafes, public transport and hospitals where seeing smoking is a common occurrence.
“Smoking in Egypt is very common, unfortunately. Out of every 10 men, four smoke and more and more women are smoking now” said Dr Hassan Salam from the University of Alexandria who is heading the research for smoking in Egypt.
Dr Salam continued “The statistics show that Egyptians smoke about 19 billion cigarettes a year. It’s a big public health problem.”
Egypt is a nation in which smoking is a cultural event with traditional shisha water pipes with flavored tobacco, found literally in every street.
Government officials in Egypt have admitted that it will be a challenge to introduce the ban with so many smokers who have already defied existent laws.
However, officials say that they hope the new ban will help Egyptians to cut down smoking.
There were over 34,000 tobacco related deaths in Egypt in 2009.
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