Egypt’s Parliament approved the amendment of some articles of the ‘Public Shops Law’ on Monday, which banned ‘shisha’ in restaurants and cafes, unless it is licenced from the concerned entity, local media reported on Sunday.
The amendment was approved after two hours of discussions, including the discussions of articles 26 and 27.
Article 26 of the Law stipulated, after the amendment, that the ‘shisha’ will be banned in shops which provide food or drinks to the general public, in case they fail to pay EGP 10,000 to obtain a licence to allow it to be served to customers. Furthermore, article 27 of the Law obliges all public shops to install internal and external surveillance cameras.
Restaurants and cafes which already received licences will be excluded from this decision.
Last month, the parliament considered enforcing a new law which will impose stricter controls on smoking hookah (which is commonly known as ‘shisha’) in public cafés and restaurants. According to the new proposal, coffee shops and restaurant owners should get a licence in order to offer ‘shisha’, as per specifications put forward by the ministry of environment.
According to a recent study conducted on shisha smokers, 81% of citizens were found to be spending about 10% of their incomes on daily shisha consumption.
In every coffee shop and restaurant of the hundreds in the country, the majority of people are found to be smoking hookah. These shops’ revenues are mostly gained from the hookah, which is always in high demand from both men and women.
In November 2017, the parliament approved an amendment of the VAT Law which proposed raising the taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products such as shisha.