How much do you spend on cigarettes? Is your consumption influenced by the rising price?
I spend around LE 700 a month on cigarettes. I don't think I’ll change my smoking habits just because the price of a pack goes up. Even if the government doubles the cost, I won’t smoke less than my current pack-a-day or switch to a cheaper brand. Smoking is my one indulgence, and thankfully I have a good job to pay for it.
Ahmed Salah, 47, marketing executive
I don't know how much I spend on smoking; whenever I find money in my pocket, I buy a cigarette or two—I can't afford to buy a whole pack. I always buy the cheapest cigarettes I can find. In my budget, it's a priority similar to food. I sometimes smoke when I am with friends, but it's not the same fix as cigarettes. There is always a cigarette that is cheap enough.
Taha Abdel Salam, 52, streetside shoe polisher
I smoke a LE-50 at the end of a long work day, or if I go out with friends on the weekend. I think overall I spend LE 500 to LE 600 a month. I will occasionally smoke a cigarette if a friend offers one, but I never buy them. I think I will continue to smoke even if the price goes up, because I do it to relax when I’m with friends. I never get the urge to go out and smoke, unless it's been a really bad day at work and I want a release from the negativity and exhaustion.
Reham Fahim, 37, office manager
I am trying to quit, because the recent price increases have been too much. It’s like the government wants to punish us for smoking. I used to spend over LE 1,000 a month; now it's more like LE 700 and going down. It’s not that I don't have the money, it’s just the idea of paying LE 25 for a pack that gets finished in one day. The more expensive it gets, the more likely I am to quit altogether.
Salwa Gohar, 35, architect
I am bipolar when it comes to cigarettes. Right now, I am smoking this fancy new electronic cigarette as a way to help me stop smoking. But I know that by next week, I will be smoking two packs a day. Then I will most likely reduce my consumption toward the end of the month, because I don't have enough money. In the last few days, when I don't have any cash left to spare, I go back to smoking the e-cigarette. I don't think I will change my habit just because prices keep going up.
Dina Waleed, 35, architect
Between cigarettes and I am sure I spend over LE 500 a month. Smoking at work helps me think, so I won’t stop buying cigarettes if they get more expensive. I won’t downgrade either, because it’s important for my brain and business that I smoke good quality cigarettes.
Yassin Gamal, 31, business owner
Even though I smoke a lot, I don't pay for them. I just bum them from people. I really don't care about the brand. On my salary, I can't afford to buy a pack every day, even of the cheapest kind. is much more affordable, and at the start of the month, I go for a smoke after work.
Mohamed Rashed, 56, civil servant