Egypt smokes 19 billion cigarettes: maybe it’s time to quit?

It’s been a long time between drinks, as we say, and life has overtaken the blog. But I was awoken from my somnambulant state by a link to a BBC story that Adam sent me.

In it, the story claims Egyptians smoke 19 billion cigarettes each year. And that doesn’t include shisha smoking. It also says people light up in the oddest places, including hospitals.

I checked this bizarre statement with my Egyptian doctor connections, who just nodded, said, “Of course we smoke in the hospitals,” and kept doing what they were doing before I put that ridiculous question to them.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad, and occasionally I chat on radio, too, from Essentials Magazine to 3AW or the Irish Times.

2 thoughts on “Egypt smokes 19 billion cigarettes: maybe it’s time to quit?

  1. Hey Menna, I think there is no utopia. My country, which is hard on smokers (forcing them to pay $15 a packet of cigarettes) has its own problems with alcohol – with street violence that you don't find in Egypt, something I find extrememly refreshing about Cairo.

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