The World Health Organisation (WHO) and several researchers are concerned about the fact that when using electronic cigarettes, nicotine is inhaled as warm steam. The toxicity and physiological effects of such exposure have not been thoroughly investigated.
Nicotine addiction continues
Research indicates that people using electronic cigarettes are not able to kick the nicotine addiction. Researchers are concerned that various flavors and easily inhalable steam tempts to try vaping, reducing the threshold to take up actual smoking.
WHO does not recommend the use of electronic cigarettes as a support measure for quitting smoking, nor would it allow their use on premises defined as smoke-free environments.
Boys like to experiment
In Finland, electronic cigarettes hit the market in 2010. According to the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey (2019) , 16-18-year-old boys have started to experiment more with electronic cigarettes, but the same does not apply to other age or gender groups. In 2019, about three per cent of 18-year-old men consumed electronic cigarettes daily and, among women of the same age, 0.4 per cent.
Among 14-16-year-old girls and boys, the daily use of electronic cigarettes was even less common, varied between 0.4 and 0.8 per cent, but 12-year-olds did not use electronic cigarettes daily or even once a week. About half of the people experimenting with or using electronic cigarettes use nicotine liquids in their electronic cigarettes.
In 2021, 3 per cent of young people attending vocational institutes use electronic cigarettes daily, 0,5 per cent of the secondary school students and 2,3 per cent of the 8th and 9th graders at comprehensive school.
E-cigarettes equal to cigarettes
For the most part, the regulations that apply to regular cigarettes also apply to electronic cigarettes:
- The use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on premises where smoking is prohibited.
- Electronic cigarettes may not be sold or handed over to people under the age of 18.
- Minors may not possess electronic cigarettes.
- Marketing and retail display of e-cigarettes is also prohibited.
Electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquids used in them can be sold with an outlet-specific retail licence. Online sale and other distance selling of electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquids is prohibited.
A 24-hour time limit is observed in the import of nicotine liquids for electronic cigarettes from outside the EEA. Therefore, in order to be allowed to import these products, a traveller has to be away from Finland for at least 24 hours.
Nicotine liquids may not include flavours such as candy or fruit. Unit packets of electronic cigarettes and refill containers shall include:
- a list of ingredients contained in the product;
- an indication of the nicotine content of the product and the delivery per dose;
- the manufacturer’s batch number;
- a recommendation to keep the product out of reach of children;
- health warnings in Finnish and in Swedish
- a leaflet with information on the product and its use and the necessary contact details.