80% of public transport passengers inhale second-hand smoke: health official

CAIRO: A total of 80 percent of users of public transportation suffer passive smoking, except for passengers at the metro, a Health Ministry official told Youm7 Thursday.

Some 71 percent of Egyptian smokers allow smoking inside their homes; hence 50 percent of Egyptians are exposed to smoke in their home, Sahar Labib, head of the smoking administration at the preventive medicine sector, told Youm7.

Labib said 61 percent of all those who work in closed spaces also inhale second-hand smoke.

Twenty percent of Egyptians smoke, head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) Abou Bakr al-Gendy told Al-Masry Al-Youm in a Jan. 10 report.

According to a 2009 World Health Organization report, 37.7 percent of Egyptian men smoke; higher than the average of middle-income countries. Of Egyptian women, 0.5 percent smoke.

Egypt raised sales tax on local and imported cigarettes by 50 percent in February 2015; it had increased taxes on cigarettes by up to 200 percent in July 2014.

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