Can I Smoke in a Rented Car?

Smoking and Car Hire

Everyone one comes from a different background, with a different story and different restrictions regarding their day to day life. While some people consider smoking as a leisure activity more so among youth in Uganda, there are also people who have patterned their daily way of life around smoking as one of the activities to cool down stress after a long day, or something to engage in when taking a good thoughtful moment.

Uganda has tight legal restrictions on smoking but for the sake of people who really have a passion for smoking; the government has put out guidelines governing how anyone who intends to smoke should conduct him or herself.

The government has no laws to guide anyone smoking in a private car. The only person to stop you from smoking in a private is a car hire company that has rented you their car. For this reason, car hire companies encourage people to smoke at least 5 meters away from the car because the cars are often rented by both smokers and non smokers.

In case you go against this guideline, you can be fined up to USD $100 for cleaning the car. However the policies vary from one company to another. But if you know of any hacks for smoking in a car but still keep out the smell of the cigarettes, then that would be the best way to go.

Smoking in Bars and Restaurants

Lighting cigarettes in bars or restaurants can generate for you a fine of US$60 or lead into prison for two months. Though such repercussions are not common due to enforcement weakness; it is important to be aware of these policies not to fall victim of the law in Uganda.

Where can I smoke from?

You can smoke from anywhere 50 meters away from public places such as schools, hospitals, markets, taxi parks among other public places. Of course with such a guideline you realize it is not common to spot a safe zone 50 meters away from a hospital, school, market or a taxi park in Kampala. But this was done deliberately to discourage smoking.

Some restaurants, hotels and bars have smoking zones. This saves you a lot of trouble and being taken advantage of security personnel who might take advantage of any circumstance to charge you with public smoking.

Who is allowed to Smoke?   

Unlike alcohol that is available for anyone 18 years and above, no one below the age of 21 years is allowed to smoke in Uganda.

Where can I buy Cigarettes?

Cigarettes can be bought in supermarkets around Kampala or in retail shops. The prices vary according to the type of Cigarette you are buying. Most of the local cigarette brands go for less than US$2 a packet. However it is harder to identify the different cigarette brands available in Uganda because they are not allowed to put out any advertisements for Tobacco products in Uganda.

Banned Cigarettes types in Uganda

Cigarettes in Uganda are still on sale, but there are about three categories of cigarettes that were banned in Uganda; electronic cigarettes, flavored cigarettes and single piece cigarettes.

Single piece cigarettes can be categorized into two; weed cigarettes that cannot be sold in packets and the one piece cigarettes that can be got from the packets. The weed cigarettes are not factory manufactured and they rarely have any filter.

In case you are entering Uganda, you have to make sure that you do not carry along electronic or flavored cigarettes along with you.

Overview of Smoking in Uganda

Over 68% of Uganda’s population survives through Agriculture with Tobacco as one of the local cash crops. Some of the people who smoke in Uganda do not even need to buy cigarettes since they can make their own cigarette sticks from home. People still smoke in public, no serious enforcement steps have been taken to counter people who smoke near the identified public places in the Tobacco Act 2015.

You are most likely to get way with smoking in public however you might fall on the wrong side of the law on a bad day.