The aim of the Tobacco Act should be to stop the use of tobacco products
The Government proposes changing the aim of the Act on Measures to Reduce Tobacco Smoking so that it will be to stop the use of tobacco products. According to the proposal, the display of tobacco products and their trademarks in retail sale facilities will be forbidden in the future. Accordingly, tobacco products may not be sold or otherwise supplied to persons under 18 years, and also the import and possession of tobacco products by them is to be forbidden. Persons selling tobacco products should be aged at least 18 years.
The prohibitions against smoking are proposed to be extended to apply e.g. to facilities used by children and young people and to vehicles, joint facilities of housing real estates, events organised outdoors, and hotel rooms. According to the law proposal the import, sale and other supplying of snuff will be forbidden, but a maximum of 30 packets containing 30 grams snuff may be imported for one's own use. In addition, the sale of tobacco products from automatic vending machines is to be forbidden.
The proposed scale of punishment for a tobacco sales offence is a fine or at most six months' imprisonment. The sale or procurement of tobacco products or smoking accessories to under 18-year-olds and the sale or procurement of snuff should be punishable as a sales offence. The import of tobacco products by persons under 18 as well as import ofsnuff against the law is proposed to be punishable as a tobacco product offence.
The title of the Act on Measures to Reduce Tobacco Smoking is to be changed into Tobacco Act at the same time as the provision on its objective will be amended.
The Medicines Act is proposed to be amended to the effect that nicotine preparations can be sold, besides in shops, kiosks and gas stations, also in restaurants.
The Government submitted on 1 October a bill for amending the Act on Measures to Reduce Tobacco Smoking and the Medicines Act. The purpose is that the President of the Republic will present the bills to Parliament on 2 October. The amended Tobacco Act is scheduled to enter into force in spring 2010. A period of transition of two years is proposed for the prohibition of display of tobacco products and of smoking restrictions in hotel rooms. The sales of tobacco from vending machines should be forbidden within a transition period of four years.
The aim of the law proposal is to limit the marketing and supply of tobacco products in particular within the sphere of children's everyday life. A visible display of tobacco products in retail sale facilities is a method of marketing products that is not forbidden under the law in force.For further information contact:
Ilkka Oksala, State Secretary, tel. 050 301 8590
Ismo Tuominen, Ministerial Counsellor, Legal Affairs, tel. 09 160 73787