Tobacco control

The MSAH takes a leading role in promoting smoke-free and tobacco control initiatives in Finland. It is responsible for the implementation of the Tobacco Act, which stipulates measures to reduce smoking.  The Tobacco Act's regulations are overseen by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health are the main specialist bodies in activities to reduce smoking.

The main activities carried out to reduce tobacco use are to:

  • keep the prices of tobacco products as high as possible
  • promote smoke-free environments
  • prohibit the sales promotion and advertising of tobacco products
  • limit the availability of tobacco products
  • regulate the content of tobacco products (nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide levels) and use warnings on produce packaging
  • inform and communicate supporting non-smoking
  • support for giving up smoking

Tobacco Act

The new Tobacco Act entered into force 15th August 2016.

A working group, appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, has proposed a road map for ending the use of tobacco and other nicotine products in Finland by 2030. It would mean that less than 5% of the adult population use tobacco and nicotine products daily. Reaching this goal, recorded in the Tobacco Act, requires that the future governments monitor and assess tobacco policy and develop new measures.

EU regulation and cooperation

The Finnish tobacco legislation considering the composition of tobacco products, quality control, import, sale and advertising restrictions is based on EU regulation.

The new Tobacco Directive entered into force 19.5.2014.

Traceability system for tobacco products

Provisions on the traceability system for tobacco products are laid down in the EU Directive 2014/40/EU concerning tobacco products. Its aim is to prevent the illicit trade in tobacco products. In the Tobacco Act (549/2019), the provisions on traceability are set out in chapter 6.

The implementation of the system requires that all those involved in the supply chain of tobacco products, from the manufacturer to the first retail outlet, apply for identification codes.  All those involved in the supply chain of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products must have IDs by 20 May 2019.  The ID is obligatory for both operators and places of business. The manufacturers and importers will also have to apply for unique identifiers of packaging.

Applications for the codes may be sent as of 10 May 2019 to Allexis s.r.o., ID issuer appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. We recommend that economic operators monitor the ID issuer’s websites monthly for possible updates and news.

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

Finland ratified the WHO's FCTC in December 2004. The Framework Convention is used in Finland to guide the course of tobacco control.

Further information

Meri Paavola, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT 0295163343