“Egypt’s Cairo Metro Authority is considering raising the smoking fine from LE 50 to LE 70, to be collected on the spot,” sources told Youm7 newspaper.

This comes in line with Egypt’s Railway Authority’s decision to raise the fine for smoking in stations and trains.

Abstaining from paying the fine will be considered a legal crime that is punished by referral to the Public Prosecution, where all legal measures will be taken.

As of April 7, Egypt’s Railway Authority’s decision of raising the smoking fine came into force as part of a campaign to raise awareness against smoking especially amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The fine will be allocated for developing different sectors inside the authority, LE 10 for train supervisors, LE 10 for police security forces inside the stations, and a total of LE 50 to be added to the authority profits.

On March 16, the minister of local development called on citizens to abide by the anti-COVID-19 precautionary measures announced by the government regarding the risks of smoking hookah “Shisha” at cafes and restaurants.

The World Health Organization has assured that hookah transfers coronavirus, and that tobacco negatively affects immunity, reducing the body’s ability to combat the virus.

“Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips, which increases the possibility of the virus transmission from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have a lung disease or reduced lung capacity, which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” WHO stated on its website.

It was added that smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.

“Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia,” the international organization added.