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. Beginning February 1, 2020, rotating text and pictorial health warnings will be required to cover 65 percent of the front and the back of tobacco product packaging. The Tobacco Control Act of 2015 also bans all misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including banning flavored tobacco products and ingredients that create the impression of health benefits or are associated with energy and vitality, among others. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
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. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and waterpipe tobacco. 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. Implementing regulations were issued in 2019, and the packaging and labeling requirements will enter into effect on February 1, 2020. Until then, 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.