Uganda became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on September 18, 2007.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. Smoking is also prohibited in the following outdoor places: 1) within 50 meters of any public place, work place, public transport terminal or any other places that provides services primarily to children; 2) within 50 meters of any window, door or air intake mechanism of any public place or workplace or any waiting area or queue; 3) within 50 meters from the place of service or consumption of food or drink; 4) any place designated a non-smoking area by the person responsible for the premises.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising and promotion. All forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
The current tobacco regulations (US 313) require that a single text-only health warning appear on cigarette packs only without any specifications for size. The Tobacco Control Act of 2015 requires the Minister of Health to issue new regulations on health warnings. The new warnings must be comprised of text and pictures and occupy no less than 65 percent of each principal display area of all tobacco products. Regulations have not been issued by the Ministry to date. Therefore, the requirements of US 313 are still in effect. The Tobacco Control Act of 2015 also bans all misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines, the internet, and within 50 meters of schools, stadiums, healthcare facilities, some cultural facilities and in other specified locations. The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes. However, the law does not restrict the sale of small packets of cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 21.
The law bans the import, manufacture, distribution, processing, sale, offer for sale, or bringing into the country of e-cigarettes, including e-cigarette devices or cartridges with nicotine-containing liquid or other substances to be vaporized. The law does not address use or advertising of e-cigarettes.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Tobacco Control Act, 2015 is the primary legislation regulating tobacco products and tobacco use in Uganda. It regulates smoking in public places; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; tobacco product sales; tobacco packaging and labeling; and protection against tobacco industry interference, among other policy areas. Provisions on tobacco packaging and labeling require implementing regulations from the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has not yet issued these regulations as of the date of this review. Therefore, the current regulations contained in US 313 remain in effect for cigarette packaging and labeling.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.