Finland Tightens Tobacco Laws
On May 1, 2022, a revised Tobacco Act took effect in Finland as part of a long-term strategy to eliminate smoking, according to reports by YLE News and Business Standard.
Smoking at playgrounds and on public beaches is now banned. The beach ban is in effect annually from the beginning of May to the end of September.
The ban aims to protect youth from secondhand smoke as well as reduce littering and environmental damage related to smoking.
Tobacco flavoring products including flavor cards are also banned under the revised legislation. Characterizing flavors such as menthol or strawberry in cigarettes were illegal already. The new rules are targeted at products that enable consumers to flavor their unflavored tobacco products.
Products already in stores and warehouses have until the end of April 2023 to be sold.
By May 2023, stricter regulations on product packaging will go into effect. Brand images will no longer be allowed on packaging, with the goal of reducing the appeal of tobacco products.
Finland has been gradually restricting public smoking since 1976, starting with bans on public transport and later extending to all public indoor areas.