The objective of the Tobacco Act is to end the use of tobacco and other nicotine products by the year 2030. The measures laid down in the Tobacco Act prevent people from taking up smoking and using other nicotine products, support quitting and protect the public from being exposed to tobacco smoke or vapor.
The Tobacco Act provides
- health warnings with pictures on the retail packaging of tobacco products;
- characterising flavors and aromas, in other words, tastes and smells other than that of tobacco created with additives, are prohibited for menthol, transition period until May 2020);
- electronic cigarettes are considered equal to other tobacco products;
- housing corporations may prohibit smoking on balconies;
- 24-hour time limit for importing tobacco products (such as snus, Swedish type of smokeless tobacco) and nicotine liquids for electronic cigarettes from outside the EEA (European Economic Area). The traveler must be away from Finland for at least 24 hours in order to be allowed to import these products;
- private persons may import for their personal use a maximum of 1,000 grams of tobacco products (such as snus); 200 cigarettes per day;
- smoking in vehicles is prohibited with anyone under the age of 15 present in the vehicle.
The Tobacco Act includes
- a ban on smoking in public places and on public transport, at workplaces and in areas surrounding day-care centers and schools;
- a display ban of tobacco products and e-cigarettes in sales outlets (does not apply to tobacco stores where products may not be visible from outside the store);
- selling or otherwise supplied or passing tobacco products or nicotine-containing liquids to a person under the age of 18 is prohibited, as is the import and possession of tobacco or nicotine-containing products for persons under the age of 18;
- the sale of tobacco or nicotine-containing products is prohibited, for example, at day-care centers, schools and educational institutes and their outdoor areas;
- all kind of marketing of tobacco or nicotine-containing products is prohibited.
Towards a smoke-free future
In 1977, the Tobacco Act to reduce smoking came into force.
In 1978, a comprehensive tobacco advertising ban entered into force and warning labels stating that smoking is hazardous to health were added to tobacco packets.
In 1995, smoking at workplaces was prohibited, but bars and restaurants were left outside of the legislation. Legislation allowed for separate smoking premises to be constructed at the workplace. The age limit of purchasing tobacco products was raised from 16 to 18 years of age.
In 2007, restaurants became smoke-free (transition period until 2009). Smoking cabins with separate ventilation could be constructed.
In 2010, the objective of ending the use of tobacco products in Finland was set.
In 2012, tobacco display ban entered into force.
In 2016, the objective of the Tobacco Act, to end the use of tobacco by the year 2030, was extended to cover other nicotine products, too.