Last updated: August 15, 2022
Sale of e-cigarettes
The sale of e-cigarettes is allowed subject to restrictions including a minimum sales age, location-based sales (as retail licenses are limited by location), and vending machines.
Use in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport
The law establishes that the same restrictions which apply to smoking and tobacco smoke apply to the use of e-cigarettes as well as the resulting smoke, vapor, and particles.
The law permits separate smoking areas in most indoor workplaces and public places. However, smoking areas are not permitted in indoor areas that are mainly used by persons under the age of 18; therefore, daycares, preschools, and primary and secondary schools are 100% smoke free.
The law prohibits smoking in most public transport (non-private vehicles). However, the law provides for an exception for the indoor areas of a restaurant on board a vessel used in international maritime transport when the serving area is not larger than 50 square meters or no more than 50 percent of the area in larger establishments.
Because of these exceptions, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.
Advertising and promotion (excluding point of sale product display)
The law prohibits all direct and indirect e-cigarette advertising and promotion except for marketing in some cross-border publications and marketing of collector and product information provided by product manufacturers or importers to parties engaged in the sale of the product. These restrictions apply to e-liquids as well.
The law prohibits sponsorship except with respect to certain collectors' items and in some cross-border publications. These restrictions apply to e-liquids as well.
Point of sale product display
The law prohibits the display of e-cigarettes and e-liquids at the point of sale. However, there are exceptions for sales outlets which almost exclusively sell tobacco products and e-cigarettes and have a separate entrance, as well as for vessels engaged in international maritime transport. As a result of these exceptions, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.
Health claims in advertising (modified risk claims)
The law prohibits nearly all direct and indirect e-cigarette advertising and promotion. However, it makes no specific reference to health claims in the limited forms of advertising not prohibited by law. As a result, the regulatory status code “Allowed” is given.
Sale of e-cigarettes via the internet
The law specifically prohibits cross-border distance sales of e-cigarettes and e-liquid. In addition, the law states that products cannot be sold by using any of the “means of distance communications” referred to in the Consumer Protection Law. This specifically includes “information networks.” Therefore, all internet tobacco product sales are prohibited.
The law prohibits all e-liquids with characterizing flavors, and therefore the only permitted flavor is tobacco.
The law prohibits any e-liquids containing:
- additives that are liable to create the impression that the product has a health benefit or presents reduced health risks compared to other tobacco products;
- stimulant compounds or other additives that are liable to create an impression of energy and vitality;
- additives that have coloring properties for emissions;
- additives that have carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic properties in unburnt form; or
- additives that facilitate nicotine uptake or the inhalation of smoke.
The law requires that the e-liquid contains only ingredients of high purity; that, other than nicotine, no ingredients pose a risk to human health either heated or unheated; and that all ingredients have had prior notification submitted to the relevant regulatory authority under the law, other than trace amounts.
Health warnings on product packaging
The law requires unit packets of e-cigarettes and refill containers to display health warnings in Finnish and in Swedish on 32% of the two largest surfaces, to read: “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance.” The text must be printed in black Helvetica bold type on a white background in a font size ensuring that the text occupies the greatest possible proportion of the surface reserved for it.
However, health warnings are not required on e-cigarette devices that are not pre-filled with e-liquid (i.e., devices sold separately).
Other product packaging and labeling requirements
Unit packets must include a leaflet in Finnish and Swedish noting:
- instructions for use and storage of the product, including a reference that the product is not recommended for use by young people and non-smokers;
- information about illnesses and other health-related conditions which preclude use of the product;
- warnings for specific risk groups;
- information about possible adverse effects, addictiveness, and toxicity; and
- contact details of the manufacturer or importer and a contact person within the European Union.
Unit packets of e-cigarettes and refill containers must also display a list of ingredients, nicotine content and delivery, batch number, and recommendation to keep the product out of reach of children.
Packaging may not include any prohibited elements that:
- promote the product or encourage its consumption by creating an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, risks or emissions;
- include any information about the tar or carbon monoxide content of the product;
- suggest that the product is less harmful than others or aims to reduce the effect of some harmful components of smoke;
- suggest that the product has vitalizing, energetic, healing, rejuvenating, natural or organic properties or that its use has other health or lifestyle benefits;
- resemble a food or a cosmetic product;
- suggest that the product has environmental advantages; or
- suggest that the product is fire safe or otherwise create an impression that the product is not dangerous or that it has a reduced fire risk compared to other similar products.
Plain packaging of e-cigarettes and refill containers will be required beginning May 1, 2023.
Maximum nicotine concentration
The law requires the nicotine concentration in the e-liquid to be less than 20 milligrams per milliliter.
The law imposes a number of requirements on e-cigarette devices and on refill containers:
- e-cigarettes must deliver the nicotine doses at consistent levels under normal conditions of use;
- e-cigarettes and refill containers must be child- and tamper-proof, be protected against breakage and leakage and have a mechanism that ensures refilling without leakage;
- the volume of a refill container may not exceed 10 milliliters; and
- the volume of the tank of an e- cigarette or a single-use cartridge may not exceed 2 milliliters.
Manufacturer/importer disclosures and/or notification requirements
The law requires manufacturers and importers of e-cigarettes or refill containers to provide electronic notification to the regulatory agency (Valvira) at least six months before a product is placed on the market, and thereafter at each substantial modification of the product. This notification includes ingredients and related toxicological data and data on nicotine uptake and delivery. Manufacturers and importers must also annually submit market research on and sales volumes of e-cigarettes and refill containers; monitoring of adverse effects and any corrective action taken.
Sale of e-cigarettes via vending machines
The law prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids from vending machines.
Specific retail license
The law requires retail traders in e-liquids to obtain a retail sales license.