Finland Makes Giving Tobacco to Youth a Crime

Anyone selling tobacco products to underaged people in Finland faces fines and a possible six-month sentence. 

“FINLAND banned selling and giving cigarettes to people under the age of 18, part of a drive to make the Nordic country smoke-free by 2040.The new law says that anyone caught selling youth tobacco products faces fines and a maximum six-month sentence. Giving them for free is also forbidden but is not a punishable offense.

The legislation also allows housing associations to ban smoking near children’s play areas and on apartment balconies. ‘We know we can never completely end smoking but several civic groups are working under the slogan ‘Smoke-free Finland in 2040’, said Ismo Tuominen from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. ‘General opinion seems to be in favour of adopting tighter controls.’

Tobacco advertising has been banned in Finland for more than 30 years and in 1995 smoking was forbidden in workplaces, public buildings and on public transport, and was extended in 2007 to bars and restaurants. In 2012, cigarettes will be sold under the counter in stores and three years later cigarette vending machines will be banned…

In 2008, lawmakers threw out a bill banning candy cigarettes and pipes, in a country where liquorice pipes are a popular treat for children.”


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