CAIRO: Smoking tobacco products is “religiously forbidden,” Egypt’s Islamic Research Complex, a high religious decision-making body concerning fatwas and Islamic issues, announced Saturday .
Decades of medical research have shown that “smoking severely damages public health, and wastes money, so Islam forbids tobacco planting, producing, and trading,” the complex said in a statement.
The Islamic Research Complex is a body affiliated to Al-Azhar Sheikhdom, while Dar al-Iftaa is an independent institution that issues fatwas (religious laws).
Health Ministry Undersecretary for Preventive Affairs Amr Kandil said in August 2015 that 24 percent of Egyptians are smokers, although many more men than women smoke socially.
A total of 80 percent of users of public transportation suffer passive smoking, except for passengers at the metro, Sahar Labib, head of the smoking administration at the preventive medicine sector, told Youm7 in February.
Egypt raised sales tax on local and imported cigarettes by 50 percent in February 2015; it also increased taxes on cigarettes by up to 200 percent in July 2014.