Read articles from Finland

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. [...]

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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, [...]

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.

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. [...]

Study shows connection between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring ADHD

The higher the cotinine levels were in the mother's blood during pregnancy, the greater was the child's risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in life, showed an epidemiological study conducted by the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland. [...] smoking during pregnancy remains a significant public health issue. During 2017, approximately 12.5% of all pregnant women in Finland smoked during pregnancy and 7% continued to smoke throughout their pregnancy.