Ranked 33 out of 57

Egypt

Overall Score: 61

Indicators of Influence

These seven key indicators highlight interference from the tobacco industry in Egypt.

No. 1

Industry participation in policy development:

Indicator Score:

9 / 20

Philip Morris conducted meetings with the government to develop the specifications of the e-cigarette product IQOS. The Tobacco Division of the Federation of Industries develops specifications for the import of electronic smoking products.

The tobacco control department in the Ministry of Health confirmed no participation of tobacco companies in the Conference of the Parties (COP8).

No. 2

Tobacco industry-related CSR activities:

Indicator Score:

5 / 20

High level government officials, including ministers, endorse tobacco-related CSR activities. Tobacco companies also contribute to government institutions and development projects. Japan Tobacco International (JTI), for example, presented E£ 4 million for community development projects in Egypt. The Eastern Company donated E£ 3 million to restore the National Cancer Institute.

While tobacco industry-sponsored youth smoking prevention programs have shown to be not effective, Philip Morris continued to conduct awareness campaigns to limit children’s access to tobacco products (E£ 4 million).

No. 3

Benefits given to the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

1 / 20

International travelers can bring into Cairo duty free: 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.

Palm Fume Company (JTI) has its headquarters located in Shebin El-Koum Free Zone.

No. 4

Unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

9 / 20

Senior officials continue to engage with the tobacco industry in situations that endorse and promote their business. Tobacco companies refer to their continuous cooperation with the government.

In February 2019, JTI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptian Customs Authority to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products. According to JTI, signing this memorandum will support the cooperation that already exists between JTI and the Egyptian Customs Authority to address illicit trade. In August 2019, PMI held a three-day technical training course for customs officials in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. According to PMI, the training course was part of continuous cooperation between the company and the Customs Authority to address the smuggling of tobacco in the local market.

No. 5

Procedure for transparency measures:

Indicator Score:

10 / 20

There are no laws to prevent dealing with tobacco companies. Considering Eastern Tobacco is a national company, interactions continue and the dealings are not made public.

There is no requirement of rules for the disclosure or registration of tobacco industry entities, affiliated organizations or individuals acting on their behalf including lobbyists.

No. 6

Avoiding conflicts of interest:

Indicator Score:

5 / 20

There are no laws prohibiting contributions from the tobacco industry or any entity working to further its interests, however there is no requirement for disclosure. No incidents were reported of government officials joining the tobacco industry upon their retirement.

No. 7

Preventive measures:

Indicator Score:

22 / 30

The government has not put in place a procedure for disclosing the records of interactions (such as agendas, attendees, minutes and outcomes) with the tobacco industry and its representatives.

The government has not formulated, adopted or implemented a code of conduct for public officials, prescribing the standards with which they should comply in their dealings with the tobacco industry. The government has not put in place a program to consistently raise awareness on Article 5.3.

Recommendations

These are ways Egypt can deter interference from the tobacco industry:

  • The Eastern Tobacco Company must be treated like any other tobacco business as indicated in Article 5.3.
  • Since tobacco-related CSR activities are a form of sponsorship and Article 5.3 recommends these activities to be denormalized, government officials must not endorse these activities.
  • The government must terminate all MOUs with the tobacco industry and ratify the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to address the smuggling problem more efficiently.
  • Any interaction with the tobacco industry must be limited to only when strictly necessary and conducted in a transparent manner.
  • The government must formulate and adopt a code of conduct to guide officials in their interactions with the tobacco industry. The government must implement a program to raise awareness on Article 5.3 among government officials, particularly in the non-health agencies such as the Customs Authority.

Learn more about tobacco industry interference in this country.

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