Tobacco Act tightened to remove logos from packaging of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes
The Tobacco Act was tightened on 13 April 2022. Brand images and logos will be removed from the unit packets of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and refill containers. The aim is to reduce the appeal of tobacco products particularly to young people. The Government proposed these amendments to the Act and the President of the Republic approved them.
The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2022, with the exception of the regulation on uniform packaging, which will enter into force on 1 May 2023. Separate provisions on the technical details related to the layout of packages and products will be issued by a decree.
Prohibition on characterising flavours and aromas to be extended
The characterising flavours and aromas of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and liquids for electronic cigarettes were prohibited back in 2016 when Finland carried out the overall reform of the Tobacco Act. Typical characterising flavours in tobacco products include chocolate, strawberry and menthol that are created by using additives.
Now the prohibition has been extended to cover also products that consumers can use to alter the flavours of tobacco products themselves. Such products include flavour cards that consumers can put inside a packet of cigarettes to alter the flavour. The prohibition will enter into force on 1 May, after which new products can no longer be placed on the market. However, it is permitted to sell products that are already in shops and warehouses until 30 April 2023.
Smoking to be prohibited at playgrounds and public beaches
Smoking will be prohibited at playgrounds and public beaches. At public beaches, the prohibition will be in place from the beginning of May to the end of September. These amendments will protect particularly small children from the harm caused by passive smoking. A further aim is to reduce the littering and environmental harm caused by smoking.
In future, those manufacturing and importing tobacco products referred to in the Tobacco Act must pay the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health an annual supervision fee that is based on the sales volumes of products. The proceeds will be used to improve product control.
The amendments to the Tobacco Act will help implement the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government that aims, among other things, to reduce addictions and smoking. This work will be continued in a working group for the development of tobacco and nicotine policy, which started its work in February. The working group will present its proposal in early 2023.
Laura Terho, Legal Adviser, tel. +358 295 163550
Jaana Markkula, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 639 (general tobacco policy)