Last updated: December 8, 2022
Norway became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
The law prohibits smoking in most indoor workplaces and indoor public places, subject to a few exceptions which permit smoking in living quarters in institutions that replace the residents' home and up to one half of hotel guest rooms. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transport. In addition, smoking is prohibited in all outdoor areas of daycare facilities, primary schools, and secondary schools, and near the entrances to health institutions and public offices. Sub-national jurisdictions may not enact smoke free laws that are more stringent than the national law.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a ban on direct and indirect forms of tobacco advertising. The display of tobacco products, other than at tobacconist shops, is prohibited. All forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
The standardized packaging of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and snus is required as of July 1, 2018. For smoked tobacco products, one of two text-only health warnings must occupy at least 30 percent of the front of the package. One of fourteen combined text and pictorial health warnings must occupy at least 40 percent of the back of the package. The warnings must be enclosed by a black border between 3mm and 4mm in width outside the area reserved for the warning. In addition, a quitline number must appear on both sides of the package outside of the area reserved for the warning. For smokeless tobacco products, one text warning must occupy at least 30 percent of the most visible side of the package. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar,” is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law prohibits the use of characterizing flavors in cigarettes; however, this provision is not yet in effect. The Ministry of Health and Care Services has the authority to issue regulations on the contents of tobacco products; however, regulations restricting or prohibiting other additives have not 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 and small packs of cigarettes. In addition, the law restricts the sale of tobacco products by vending machine. There are no restrictions on the sale of tobacco products based on location. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Until July 1, 2023, all importation and sale of e-cigarettes and refill containers with nicotine are prohibited. After that date, the retail sales of e-cigarette devices or e-liquids will be allowed only where the product has been approved by the Directorate of Health through an application process. The use of e-cigarettes in public is subject to the same restrictions as smoking. The law prohibits most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion, and this prohibition extends to tobacco substitutes such as e-cigarettes.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Act No. 14 of 9 March 1973 relating to the Prevention of the Harmful Effects of Tobacco (Tobacco Control Act) is the primary tobacco control law in Norway. The law governs, among other things, smoking restrictions, tobacco advertising, and tobacco packaging and labeling. The law has been amended many times, including substantial amendments by Act No. 5 of 10 February 2017. These recent amendments implement the standardized packaging of certain tobacco products and bring Norway's laws into alignment with the 2014 EU Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU).
Several sets of implementing regulations have been issued under the Act: Regulations no. 989 of 15 December 1995 on the prohibition of advertising of tobacco products; Regulations no. 141 of 6 February 2003 on the contents and labeling of tobacco products; Regulations no. 942 of 22 September 2017 on the registration and supervisions of the sale of tobacco products, etc. Regulations no. 141 have been amended several times, including by Regulations no. 1245 of 24 September 2009, Regulations no. 924 of 22 June 2017, and Regulations no. 848 of 20 April 2020. Smoking is prohibited in certain educational facilities under the Regulations on environmental health in kindergartens and schools.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.