Tobacco policy

Development in Finland

According to estimates by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, deaths, disability pensions and sick leaves related to smoking as well as smoking breaks cause costs of 840–930 million euros, depending on the calculation method. Economic burden caused by smoking to society have been estimated to be about 1.5 billion euros every year.

In 2010, the Finnish tobacco policy took a turn when the objective of the Tobacco Act of the time was redefined as ending the use of tobacco products, i.e. so-called endgame thinking. Up until then, the objective had been to reduce smoking. In 2016 the aim was improved so that the objective is to end the use of tobacco and other nicotine products by 2030.

The vision of tobacco-free Finland is feasible, as Finns hold a smoke-free living environment in high regard.

The development has been rapid. The proposals drawn up by tobacco policy experts and published in 2013 introduced measures needed in order to be able to promote tobacco-free living environment. The proposals included, among other things:

  • standardized (plain) packaging for tobacco products;
  • regular tobacco tax raises;
  • restrictions on smoking in residential buildings and;
  • prohibition of smoking in private vehicles when children are present in the vehicle.

At the moment, standardized packaging is the only measure yet to be introduced.

In the summer of 2017, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appointed a workgroup to plan methods that could be implemented to further improve our tobacco policy. The group’s task is to develop the tobacco and nicotine policy and related measures so that the use of tobacco and other nicotine products would end in Finland by the year 2030.

Did you know that

  • Endgame refers to the goal of ending the consumption of tobacco products; In Finland, the goal also includes ending the consumption of other nicotine products.
  • The term was first introduced at the beginning of the 2000s in articles pondering the future of the tobacco policy.
  • Endgame was introduced as the objective of the Finnish Tobacco Act in 2010. In 2016, the objective was extended to include other nicotine products, too.
  • In a global sense, Endgame thinking has rapidly increased during the 2010s.