The Egyptian government has announced an increase in cigarette prices effective immediately.
Ask a smoker what they most like about Egypt, and they'll tell you it's the fact they can smoke anywhere. A few years back, the answer would have been that cigarettes are dirt cheap, but in the last five years, prices have almost doubled. A packet of Marlboros were 8.50LE in 2009, and now come in at 15.5LE (official price, not rip off koshk price). Today, prices increase yet again - 1.5LE per pack for upper-level imported brands (Marlboro, Merit, Kent), 1LE per pack for lower-level imported brands (L&M, Rothmans) and 0.5LE for local favourites Cleopatra. Currently, the government takes more than half of the cigarette pack price – 50 percent of the retail price, plus a fixed sales tax of LE1.25 and a LE0.10 health care tax. This means out of the new price of 17LE for a pack of Marlboros, the government earns about 10LE. This means rip off koshks are likely to increase their own retail prices by a pound in order to maintain a profit.