Achieving the Goal
The objective of the Finnish Tobacco Act is to end the use of tobacco and nicotine products (excluding medicinal nicotine) by 2030. The target will be considered to have been met if by less than 5% of the population are using tobacco or nicotine products daily.
According to a modelling study (pdf) published by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the current measures are not projected to achieve the target among adults aged 20-64. The forecast suggests that, at the current price development, women will reach the five percent target by the year 2038, while men will not achieve the goal by 2040. The gender difference is mainly due to the more common use of snus, Swedish smokeless tobacco, among men.
Price increases have been proven to be one of the most significant measures to reduce smoking and disparities in smoking rates among different population groups. If the rate of tobacco price increase doubles compared to the current rate, the forecast suggests that the goal of the Tobacco Act could be achieved in men by the year 2035 and in women by the year 2030.
Researchers emphasize that additional measures are also needed to prevent and reduce the initiation of tobacco and other nicotine product use. They propose, among other things, raising the age limit for purchasing tobacco and nicotine products to 20 years and other measures related to reducing supply, such as a significant reduction in sales outlets.
Yhteiskuntapolitiikka (2023): Saavutetaanko tupakkalain tavoite? Mallinnustutkimus aikuisväestössä (pdf) (Will the objective of a tobacco and nicotine free Finland by 2030 be achieved? A modelling study among the Finnish adult population, In Finnish only)
Also read Tobacco Control (2019): Strategies and barriers to achieving the goal of Finland’s tobacco endgame
Proposals for action by the working group 2023
In 2022, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appointed a working group tasked with making proposals for legislative amendments and other measures that support and promote the end of the use of tobacco and nicotine products by 2030. The working group had three specific tasks related to preventing the use of all nicotine products (including nicotine replacement therapy products), improving the smoke-free environment of housing corporations and raising the purchasing age limit from 18 years of age.
The working group emphasized that achieving the objective of the Tobacco Act requires the continuation and development of the current systematic and determined implementation of measures and the introduction of new measures. To achieve this objective, the proposals presented by the working group will need to be implemented already at the beginning of the next government term. The measures proposed in the report create the conditions for eliminating the use of tobacco and other nicotine products. Further efforts are needed every few years to achieve this goal. The working group considers that the implementation of the new proposals should always be included in the next government programme.
The working group’s proposals concern taxation, prevention of starting the use of tobacco and nicotine products by young people, smoke-free environments, sales and marketing, support for quitting, passenger imports, regulation of new nicotine products, enhanced enforcement, and resourcing, monitoring, and evaluation.
Ministry of Social Affaris and Health (2023): Development of tobacco and nicotine policy. Proposals for action by the working group 2023