The MSAH takes a leading role in promoting smoke-free and tobacco control initiatives in Finland. It is responsible for the implementation of the Tobacco Act, which stipulates measures to reduce smoking. The Tobacco Act's regulations are overseen by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. The National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health are the main specialist bodies in activities to reduce smoking.
The main activities carried out to reduce tobacco use are
- To keep the prices of tobacco products as high as possible
- Promote smoke-free environments
- Prohibit the sales promotion and advertising of tobacco products
- Limit the availability of tobacco products
- Regulate the content of tobacco products (nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide levels) and use warnings on produce packaging
- Information and communication supporting non-smoking
- Support for giving up smoking
Changes in the Tobacco Act entered into force 1.10.2010.
The present Government has raised the price for cigarettes already twice, first at the outset of 2009 and later at the outset of 2010.
Moreover, retail trade in tobacco products became subject to a licence at the outset of April 2009. The goal is to make the ban on sale of tobacco products to children and young people more effective and to prevent sale of illegal tobacco products. Since June 2007 smoking in restaurants has been banned except in separate smoking facilities approved for the purpose.