Tobacco Act

The objective of the Tobacco Act is to end the use of tobacco and other nicotine products by the year 2030. Here is a brief overview of the Tobacco Act.

Plain tobacco packaging

Plain packaging means that tobacco packs have no logos, colours, brand images or promotional information other than brand names displayed in a standard colour and font style. The stipulations on plain packaging will enter into force on 1st of May 2023. Tobacco packs must carry health warnings including text and pictures that cover at least 65 per cent of the front and back surface of the packet. Electronic cigarettes must also carry health warnings, albeit different than those on tobacco packs.

Tobacco products in retail outlets

It is prohibited to keep tobacco products visible in retail outlets, for example shops, kiosks etc. The ban also applies to heated tobacco products.

Prohibiting characterising flavours or aromas

Cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco may not contain additives or flavourings in such a content that will render the product any other taste or smell than that of tobacco. The prohibition also covers products that consumers can use to alter the flavours of tobacco products themselves, such as flavour cards. Characterising flavours and certain additives (such as vitamins and stimulants) are also prohibited in liquids intended for vaporisation.

Electronic cigarettes are comparable to other tobacco products

The same regulations are applied to electronic cigarettes as to the other tobacco products. For example, both the buyer and the seller must be 18 years of age or older, sales are subject to a licence, electronic cigarettes may not be marketed, the products may not be displayed at sales outlets and their consumption is forbidden in the same places as smoking.

The import restriction for snus, smokeless tobacco is one kilo

A private person may import no more than 1,000 g of smoke-free tobacco products (snus, snuff, chewing tobacco) during one day.

Import restrictions

A Finnish resident must be away from Finland for at least 24 hours to be allowed to import tobacco products or nicotine liquids into Finland from countries outside the European Economic Area, EEA. The regulation does not apply to air traffic. The online sales and other distance selling of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is prohibited.

Restricting smoking on the balcony

Housing corporations may impose a ban forbidding or restricting smoking on balconies of individual apartments. Read more

Smoking in vehicles

Smoking is prohibited in private vehicles with anyone under the age of 15 present in the vehicle.

Playgrounds and public beaches

Smoking is prohibited at playgrounds and public beaches. At public beaches, the prohibition is in place from the beginning of May to the end of September. These prohibitions protect particularly small children from the harm caused by passive smoking. A further aim is to reduce the littering and environmental harm caused by smoking.

More information

Finlex (29.6.2016): Tobacco Act 549/2016
ASH Finland: Tobacco Act
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (12.4.2023): Development of tobacco and nicotine policy : Proposals for action by the working group 2023 (pdf)

Towards a tobacco-free future

In 1976, an act on measures to reduce smoking was passed.

In 1977, the Tobacco Act came into force on 1 March.

In 1978, the marketing of tobacco products was prohibited. At the same time, warning labels of the hazards of smoking were added to packaging.

In 1995, workplaces were included in the Tobacco Act. Smoking is only allowed if cigarette smoke is not spread to spaces where smoking is prohibited. Restaurants were left outside of the Act. The age limit of purchasing tobacco products was raised from 16 to 18 years of age.

In 2007, restaurants became smoke-free (transition period until 2009). Smoking cabins with separate ventilation could be constructed.

In 2010, the objective of ending the use of tobacco products in Finland by  2040 was set.

In 2012, retailers were prohibited from displaying tobacco products.

In 2016, the Tobacco Act was updated as a whole. The new objective of the Tobacco Act is to end the use of tobacco and other nicotine products by 2030.

In 2022, public beaches and play grounds became non-smoking areas.

In 2023, plain tobacco packaging: tobacco packs have no logos, colours, or brand images.