The burden of tobacco consumption rates in Egypt are among the highest in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and worldwide. Recent studies showed that almost one quarter (22.8%) of Egyptians are current tobacco users and almost half the adult Egyptian population are exposed to second hand smoke at homes (48.9%). Tobacco is a well-known risk factor to major morbidities and premature death. There is conclusive evidence that smoking increases the risk for respiratory infections, weakens the immune system and is a major cause of a number of chronic health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. These factors put smokers, and in all likelihood exposure as well, at greater risk when confronted with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Besides the deleterious health consequences of tobacco consumption, the economic impact of tobacco smoking on users, families and society are devastating. The high expenditures on tobacco consumption comes at the expense of other essential needs and useful activities such as education, health, nutrition, leisure and sports among others.
Egypt realized the huge burden of tobacco use problem, and thus took positive steps forward to combat the tobacco epidemic. Egypt was one of the very first signatories on the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2005. Egypt has since made impressive progress in tobacco control and showed great ambition to accelerate the implementation of the WHO FCTC. Thus, was selected to be one of the 15 parties of the FCTC 2030 project. The project aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes explicit attention to tobacco control. This project aims to provide Low-middle Income Parties to the WHO FCTC with direct support to implement tobacco control strategies and policies.
The aim of the implementation of the anti-tobacco social media awareness campaign is to:
1. Increase knowledge and awareness about tobacco and its hazards.
2. Highlight relation between Tobacco and COVID-19.
3. Promote cessation services, to support:
a. Tobacco users to quit tobacco utilization.
b. Non-users to guide tobacco users to quit tobacco utilization.
4. Achieve demand creation and empowerment of the general population to defend their right in having smoke-free places in Egypt whether at home, work, public places, transportation facilities.
5. Build compliance with tobacco control legislation.
6. Combat the effect of tobacco industry interference.
“We at Eureka are so excited to launch this campaign in particular, because it has a philanthropic cause and we’re aiming to collaborate to change lives of millions of people in Egypt (either smokers or non-smokers affected by smoking) to better ones,” said Ahmed Samy – Director of Business Development – Eureka Digital.