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Smoking in Finland

The overall smoking prevalence in Finland has been decreasing since 2006. 19.7% of the adult population in Finland are current smokers, down from 26% in 2006. This means there are now approximately 912,299 smokers in the country. 21% of men smoke and for women the figure is 18.3%. The most recent data show there were 5,129 annual deaths from tobacco-smoking related diseases (approximately 1,500 women and 3,600 men). The annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking was 11.51% (women: 5.8%; and men: 13.9%). Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes) are legal in Finland and there are 38,300 vapers in the country, giving an adult vaping prevalence of 0.82%. There is a requirement to ensure vape packaging contains a health warning, and they can only be sold to those 18 and older. Vaping devices can be purchased without a prescription but there are legal restrictions on their use in public places. There is no specific law on heated tobacco products and the situation is quite complicated for snus. While it is illegal to import snus for trade or buy the product online, it is possible to import it for personal use. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be marketed and it is available to buy in many general shops without a prescription. The NRT market in Finland is worth €88.7 million. For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.

Read articles from Finland

November 21, 2023 by

Finland: Smoke-Free Tax Plans Draw Fire

The Finnish government’s recent proposal to increase taxes on nicotine pouches and vape liquids has drawn criticism from the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA). The current plan would increase the price of one nicotine pouch box by approximately €2.50 ($2.74). This move, which aims to bring smokeless nicotine products under tobacco taxation, is a significant step backwards in harm reduction efforts, according to the consumer group. “Finland’s plan to increase taxes on less harmful nicotine alternatives is deeply concerning. Not only does this reduce the price differential between deadly cigarettes and safer alternatives, but it also directly undermines public health goals. [...]

September 04, 2023 by

How short-sighted nicotine alternative legislation boosts the black market

In July this year, the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet posted an excellent article about the illicit trade of Snus in Finland. The piece tells the story of Mikko, a 25-year-old resident of a university town called Vaasa who helps supply Finish snussers with the prohibited harm reduction product via a bustling WhatsApp group. What I found remarkable about the story is how citizens like Mikko are forced into illegal actions because of EU legislation they have no control over. [...] Snus, like all oral tobacco, is banned across the EU. As Finland is a member state, the smoking alternative product cannot be sold legally. [...]

July 28, 2023 by

Illegal distribution of snus and cigarettes uncovered in Finland's Pirkanmaa and Helsinki regions

Finnish Customs revealed the results of a comprehensive investigation into an elaborate criminal network involved in the illegal distribution of snus and tobacco products in the Pirkanmaa region and the Helsinki area. The investigation exposed a web of smuggling and distribution activities that spanned across borders and involved about twenty suspects.

June 29, 2023 by

Finns sign up in droves to fight ban on nicotine pouches

The sudden arrival of nicotine pouches on store shelves in Finland coupled with a potential ban has left consumers reeling. Thousands of Finns have already signed a new petition supporting the continued legalisation of nicotine pouches.


Tobacco-free nicotine pouches were, until recently, considered pharmaceutical products in Finland, available only through prescription. However, a recent decision by the country’s pharmaceutical regulator to stop regulating the products led to their sudden and unexpected availability in stores nationwide. This newfound freedom, though, may be short-lived.

March 28, 2023 by

“NRT or Cold Turkey”: Why Finland Won’t Back Tobacco Harm Reduction

Finland has vaping laws that are about as strict as they can be, short of actually banning it. There’s a ban on all flavors other than tobacco; a total ban on advertising; and if there’s an area where you can’t smoke, that will mean you can’t vape, either. Online and cross-border sales are illegal.

This is despite the fact that around 900,000 people in the far-northern European country of 5.5 million smoke cigarettes. An adult smoking rate of nearly 20 percent, though declining, is substantially higher than in the United States. Over 5,000 people die of smoking-related causes in Finland each year.

May 01, 2022 by

Finland bans smoking at playgrounds, beaches

A stricter revised Tobacco Act took effect on 1 May as part of a long-term strategy to wean Finland off smoking.

As of Sunday, smoking at playgrounds and on public beaches is banned. The ban at beaches will be in effect from the beginning of May to the end of September each year.

The legislative change is particularly aimed at protecting young children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. It is also intended to reduce littering and environmental damage related to smoking.

April 19, 2022 by

One in three teens buys snus on social media, study finds

Social media platforms have become a popular avenue for young people to get their hands on the oral tobacco product snus.

With the exception of Sweden, the sale of snus is banned across the EU, including in Finland.

The most recent School Health Promotion study found that up to 43 percent of students in grades 10-12 and 67 percent of vocational school students have used a tobacco product at least once last year, with snus becoming increasingly popular.

The survey also showed that roughly one in three snus users got hold of the product via social media platforms.

January 25, 2021 by

Changing smoking habits reveal health inequalities, study warns

People in Finland belonging to lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to smoke than their peers in higher groups, and the proportion between the two has grown, according to a study currently under review by the University of Helsinki.

In order to divide people by socioeconomic status, researchers can take into account factors like a person’s highest level of education, their household income and their job. [...] "We know smoking has directly adverse effects on human health. Based on the study, it can be said that if this trend continues, so too will the growth of health inequalities," said Otto Ruokolainen, [...]

October 13, 2020 by

Corona concerns prompt thousands to quit smoking

Around 10 percent of Finland's population still smokes, according to the tobacco policy group ASH Finland. Thousands of people in Finland quit their smoking habits this year directly due to coronavirus concerns, according to a survey commissioned by the tobacco policy and public health group ASH Finland.

The survey found that 15 percent of respondents quit smoking directly because of coronavirus-related health concerns. According to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), as well as other health authorities, being a smoker increases a person's risk of health complications following a coronavirus infection.

May 21, 2020 by

Strong legislation helps defeat e-cigarettes in Finland

Finland has demonstrated that is it possible to reduce the number of smokers without seeing a surge in e-cigarette users, an issue which has become a public health dilemma for the tobacco control community in recent years. [...] Twenty years ago almost a quarter of Finns smoked daily. In 2018 this number dropped to just 14%. At the same time, e-cigarette use remained moderate – only 1% of Finns said they were daily users in 2018.

Meri Paavola was one of the architects of the new regulations that made this possible. [...]


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