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Egypt’s Cigarettes Just Got a Bit More Expensive Again

We’re just going to go ahead and plant our own tobacco if you don’t mind.

Why do bad things happen to even worse things? Why are cigarettes destined to soar above the clouds of cost? Could it have anything to do with supply and demand? We don’t really know, but what we do know is that Egypt’s Eastern Tobacco company has marked up the prices of six of its cigarette brands by between EGP 1.50 and 3.

Those accustomed to smoking Cleopatra Black Label will have to pay an extra EGP 3, going up from EGP 18 to EGP 21. Patrons of both Cleopatra Queen and Cleopatra Soft will have to pay an additional EGP 1.50, and the gold-standard Cleopatra “Box” is getting the same treatment, going from EGP 15.50 to EGP 17. That’s not all, though; thanks to the new “sin tax” incurred by the new healthcare act, all cigarette brands have a mandatory EGP 0.75 slapped onto their price tags, all in an effort to keep the healthcare plan afloat, along with a slew of other sins falling under that umbrella.

These adjustments go into effect as of today, and it was by no means unforeseen; this was in discussion since January of this year. With the tax in effect, the state hopes to gather up about EGP 3 billion in annual revenues, and though we’re amiss that our less-than-favourable habits are that much harder to keep up, healthcare does kind of sound appealing right about now.

Main image from Pacific Standard.


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