Last updated: February 27, 2023
Iceland became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in certain public places and workplaces, although smoking rooms are allowed in many of these places. Smoking is entirely prohibited in schools and other children’s facilities. In healthcare facilities, smoking is generally prohibited with the exception of patient rooms in nursing homes and smoking rooms for patients only in hospitals. In other public places, smoking is prohibited in “service areas”; however, smoking rooms are permitted for staff in areas to which the public does not have access. In business premises, smoking rooms are permitted in areas to which the public does not have access. Smoking is also permitted in designated hotel guestrooms. Smoking is generally prohibited in public transport. However, on passenger ships, designated smoking rooms are permitted for staff.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion. Product display and visibility at point of sale is prohibited, except at specialist tobacco shops. Most forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited, with the limited exception of certain unpublicized contributions by the tobacco industry.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
Packaging and labeling of smoked tobacco products must display one of two “general” text warnings covering 30 percent of the front of the pack, and one of fourteen “combined” text and image warnings covering 40 percent of the back of the pack. Chewing tobacco must carry a text warning occupying 30 percent of the most visible surface of the package. Smokeless tobacco products, other than chewing tobacco, are prohibited. Misleading terms, trademarks and figurative or other signs suggesting that the product is less harmful than other tobacco products are prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law grants the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes; however, no subsequent regulations have been issued. 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 single cigarettes, small packs of cigarettes, and most forms of smokeless tobacco (except chewing tobacco). The law also prohibits the sale of tobacco products by vending machine and in healthcare facilities, schools, and institutions for children and teenagers. 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 on public transport and in specified public places. Advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes is generally prohibited, but product display is allowed at special retail outlets selling only e-cigarettes, refill containers, and associated products. Text-only health warnings are required to cover 30 percent of the front and back of product packaging.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
The Tobacco Control Act 2002, No. 6 (as amended through May 2018) is the primary tobacco control law in Iceland. It governs, among other things, smoke free environments; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labeling. Regulations issued under the Act include: 1) Regulation No. 236 of 2003 on warning labeling on tobacco and measurement and maximum yields of harmful substances, 2) Regulations No. 790 of 2011 and No. 1250 of 2011 on Picture and Text Warnings on Tobacco and Measurements of the Maximum Harmful Tobacco Substances, which update the 2003 warning regulations, 3) Regulations No. 326 of 2007 on Smoking Restrictions and 4) Regulations No. 325 of 2007 on Retail Sale of Tobacco.
E-cigarettes are regulated under the Act on Electronic Cigarettes and Refill Containers for Electronic Cigarettes, No. 87/2018. The Act was subsequently amended by Act No. 56/2022 and renamed the Act on Nicotine Products, Electronic Cigarettes and Refill Containers for Electronic Cigarettes. Regulations issued under the Act include: 1) Regulation No. 991 of 2022 and 2) Regulation No. 992 of 2022 (as amended by Regulation No. 1318 of 2022 and Regulation No. 1153 of 2023).
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.