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STM, Tukes, Valvira ja THL tiedottavat
Nicotine pouches are harmful to health – Aim is to end their use

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 11.5.2023 9.59
Press release

The legislative amendment which is currently circulated for comments would ban the sale of nicotine pouches and restrict their import. The nicotine content of pouches on the market is often higher than that of snus (a smokeless oral tobacco product). There can be portion-packed pouches available for sale which contain up to ten times more nicotine than snus.

The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) is examining together with the relevant ministries whether the sale of nicotine pouches should be temporarily banned under the Chemicals Act. The objective of the Tobacco Act is to end the use of all nicotine-containing products in Finland by 2030. In Europe, the sale of nicotine pouches will be banned at least in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Nicotine increases blood pressure and causes addiction

Nicotine pouches are portion-packed nicotine products that do not contain tobacco. Nicotine causes a strong addiction. Typical withdrawal symptoms include difficulties with concentration and sleep, which can affect people’s ability to study and work. 

The acute effects of nicotine include the constriction of blood vessels and increased blood pressure. When used regularly, nicotine can make people susceptible to arrhythmia. It also interferes with sugar metabolism and this way increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Nicotine also seems to contribute to such changes in cells that can lead to the development of cancer.

Nicotine pouches can be fatal for children and animals 

The authorities do not supervise nicotine pouches prior to their entry onto the market, which is why there are no guarantees that they are safe. 

The same obligations concerning labelling and packaging apply to nicotine pouches as to other dangerous chemicals. Depending on the nicotine content of products, packages must be labelled with, for example, the hazard statement “Harmful if swallowed” or “Toxic if swallowed” and with a hazard pictogram featuring a skull and crossbones. The hazard pictograms for chemicals are available on the website of Tukes

When using, storing and disposing nicotine pouches, it must be ensured that children cannot get hold of them and put them in their mouth or that they do not end up in the environment. Nicotine pouches can be fatal for children and animals. Nicotine is also an environmentally hazardous substance. 

It is prohibited to advertise and display nicotine pouches at sales outlets. You may notify the authority supervising compliance with the Tobacco Act in the municipality or the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) of any illegal activities observed. The deliberate advertising of nicotine pouches can constitute a marketing offence or violation, which can be reported to the police.


Tukes: Pauli Kärkkäinen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 052 074, pauli.karkkainen(at) (chemicals legislation and market surveillance of chemicals)

Valvira: Isabella Lencioni, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 209 482, isabella.lencioni(at) (supervision of the marketing ban on tobacco substitutes)

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Otto Ruokolainen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 246 241, otto.ruokolainen(at) (effects of nicotine pouches on health)

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Reetta Honkanen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 684, reetta.honkanen(at) (amendment to the Tobacco Act)

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