Last updated: August 15, 2022
Finland became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on April 24, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
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.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
The law generally bans all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. There is an exception from this ban for non-EU publications intended for non-EU markets. Product display at points of sale is prohibited except sales outlets which almost exclusively sell tobacco products and have a separate entrance and in vessels for maritime travel.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
The law requires rotating pictorial health warnings to cover 65 percent of the front and back of the pack. Misleading packaging and labeling, which includes terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited. Plain packaging of tobacco products will be required beginning May 1, 2023.
Cigarette Contents and Emissions
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including banning characterizing flavors; and ingredients that facilitate nicotine uptake, create the impression of health benefits, or are associated with energy and vitality; among others. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines and the internet, small packets of cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products. In addition, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products in educational facilities. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The sale of e-cigarettes is allowed. The law prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in places where smoking is prohibited, which includes indoor areas that are mainly used by persons under the age of 18 and most means of public transport. The use of e-cigarettes is permitted in separate designated areas in most indoor workplaces and public places. The law restricts e-cigarette advertising and promotion and product display at points of sale. The law prohibits all e-liquids with characterizing flavors, and therefore the only permitted flavor is tobacco. Text-only health warnings in Finnish and Swedish are required to cover 32 percent of the front and back of the package. Plain packaging of e-cigarette products will be required beginning May 1, 2023.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Tobacco Act (No. 549/2016) is the primary law on tobacco control and covers many aspects of tobacco control, including a general ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; restrictions on smoking in public places; regulation of the production and sale of tobacco products; and tobacco packaging and labeling measures. This law repealed and replaced the previous Tobacco Act (No. 693/1976) (as amended through 2010).
The 2016 Tobacco Act has been amended several times. Act No. 1116/2017 amends sections on reporting and enforcement of violations of provisions on smoke free and smoking areas. Act No. 701/2018 provides additional detail on measures related to trade secrets in submission, data storage, and publication of product information disclosed to authorities. Act No. 248/2019 amends the Tobacco Act’s provisions on labeling with respect to unique tracing identifier for retail packaging and related issues on security and authenticity. It also provides further details on wholesale retail; the right of authorities to access information from manufacturers, importers, and sellers; and disposal of products. Act No. 283/2022 prohibits smoking in additional outdoor areas, among other changes. Once fully in effect, it will also require plain packaging of tobacco and e-cigarette products and prohibit the sale of stand-alone flavoring products.
Additional decrees address retail sale requirements (Decree No. 593/2016 on the Retail Sale of Tobacco Products and Related Products); warning labels on unit packets of tobacco products and on unit packets of electronic cigarettes and refill containers (Decree No. 591/2016 on the Warning Labels on Unit Packets of Tobacco Products and Similar Products); measurement and reporting of contents, emissions, and fire safety (Decree No. 592/2016 on Standards and Notifications Concerning Tobacco Products and Similar Products), and decrees on smoking areas (Decree No. 601/2016 on Smoking Areas and Decree No. 1113/2016 Amending the Decree on Smoking Areas).
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.