Egypt seizes over 64 million smuggled cigarette packs

Egyptians buy imported cigarettes at a popular market in Cairo, Egypt.

Egyptians buy imported cigarettes at a popular market in Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt said on Monday it seized more than 64 million packs of smuggled cigarettes in May, of which over two million were counterfeit.

The customs authorities at Port Said confiscated about 56 million packs before they could enter the country, the interior ministry said.

At the same port, 5.9 million packs that were being shipped from the United Arab Emirates to Ukraine were also seized.

At the Red Sea port of Ein Sokhna, about 1.1 million counterfeit packs were found before they could enter Egypt.

Another one million counterfeit packs were confiscated by the police at the Suez canal.

The World Health Organization says tobacco control is a major challenge in Egypt, with about 25 percent of adults using tobacco products and 50 percent of Egyptians exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes.

There is an increasing uptake of tobacco among young women, and an overall rise in the use of water pipes, it says.

The market share of illicit cigarettes in Egypt rose from two percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2013, the WHO said in a report last year..


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