Egypt's president decrees tax hike on cigarettes in face of budget deficit

Egypt says it will raise the sales tax on both local and imported cigarettes as it confronts a major budget deficit.

The decision announced by the presidency on Sunday increases a flat tax by at least 7 cents for a pack of less expensive cigarettes. More expensive brands will see an increase of at least 20 cents.

A similar move last July raised prices 25 to 40 cents per pack.

Unrest since the 2011 overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak has battered the Egyptian economy. The vital tourism industry is a shadow of its former self and foreign investors have been hesitant to commit to what they once considered a promising emerging market.

One in four Egyptian adults smoke, according to a 2013 World Health Organization report.