1920s

More cigarettes are consumed in Finland than anywhere else in the world.

1940s

The so-called ration cigarettes distributed to Finnish soldiers during the wars turn men into smokers. After the wars, 76 per cent of Finnish men and 13 per cent of women smoke.

1950s

1950s

© Lehtikuva / Seppo Saves 

1950

Wynder and Graham’s study on the relationship between smoking and lung cancer is published in the United States.

1954

Doll and Hill’s study among English doctors shows that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer.

1960s

1960s

© Lehtikuva 

1960

58% of Finnish men and 14% of women smoke. The Finnish Medical Association publishes a statement announcing that smoking is hazardous to health.

1961

The Finnish Parliament approves a request initiative demanding urgent measures for reducing smoking.

1964

Surgeon General, the highest public health authority in the United States, publishes a study on serious health hazards associated with smoking.

1970s

1970s

© Lehtikuva / Vesa Klemetti (1979)

1970

44% of Finnish men and 16% of women smoke.

1971

Television advertisements for cigarettes are banned.

1972

The North Karelia Project is launched.

1975

The Government presents a bill to the Parliament regarding reducing smoking. The bill includes, among other things, an advertising ban for tobacco, prohibition on the sale of tobacco products to minors and a smoking ban in public places and on public transport.

1976

The Parliament passes the bill unanimously on 13 August 1976.

1977

The Act on reducing smoking comes into force on 1 March 1977.

1978

The tobacco marketing ban enters into force.

1980s

1980

34% of Finnish men and 17% of women smoke.

1988

The first European court process against a tobacco company based on product liability begins in Finland.

1990s

1990s

1990

33% of Finnish men and 20% of women smoke.

1991

EU directive bans television advertisement of tobacco products.

1992

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approves a decision prohibiting smoking on all international flights by the year 1996.

1995

Smoking at workplaces is banned by legislation. Restaurants are left outside of the legislation. The age limit of purchasing tobacco products is raised from 16 to 18 years of age.

2000s

2000s

2000

27% of Finnish men and 23% of women smoke.

The Supreme Court of Finland dismisses the petition in the product liability case: tobacco companies are not ordered to pay damages to smokers who have fallen ill.

2001

The Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) is passed in the EU. With this directive, uniform warning labels are added to tobacco packaging in the EU-member states.

2003

191 WHO member states ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, or the FCTC. The EU passes a directive (2003/33/EC) restricting the marketing of tobacco products.

2005

Finland ratifies the FCTC agreement.

2007

All Finnish restaurants become smoke-free – the transition period lasts until 2009.

2008

Paavo Lipponen, the former Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, presented the idea of tobacco-free Finland at the Tobacco and Health event in 2006. A group of prominent figures from the health sector advanced the idea and, in 2008, the Tobacco-free Finland 2040 project, which later became the Tobacco-free Finland 2030 network, was established. 2030 refers to the goal set in the Tobacco Act: that Finland will become tobacco and nicotine-free by the year 2030.

2010s

2010s

2010

23% of Finnish men and 16% of women smoke. Instead of restricting the harmful effects of smoking, the goal of the Tobacco Act turns to ending the consumption of tobacco products in Finland by the year 2040 (so-called Endgame thinking).

The Helsinki Court of Appeal dismisses petitions against tobacco companies in the so-called light cigarette case. Tobacco companies are once again not ordered to pay damages.

2012

Finnish sales outlets are prohibited from displaying tobacco products.

2014

The European Union passes the updated Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EC) stipulating that tobacco packaging must include health warnings containing image and text.

2015

16% of Finnish men and 12% of women smoke.

2016

The updated version of the Tobacco Act comes into force. The objective of the Tobacco Act is specified further: the objective is to end the use of tobacco products and other nicotine products in Finland by the year 2030.

2020s

Menthol is banned as a flavouring of tobacco products.

2030s

2030s

When the objective of the Tobacco Act is met, less than five per cent of the adult population will consume tobacco or nicotine products on a daily basis.