Beginning in April, Finland’s government is going to begin regulating the sales of all tobacco products in a bid to improve the health of its young citizens. According to the news agency YLE, any shop selling tobacco products will need an official licence as of next month or face heavy fines.
The Finnish government hopes the new regulations will decrease sales of tobacco to minors, which will ideally reduce the number of smokers in the upcoming generation. The new laws state that only specially licensed shops, news stands, or restaurants will be allowed to sell tobacco products.
Even automatic cigarette vending machines will be required to be supervised at all times the shop is open to prevent underage purchases. Retailers who wish to apply for the license will have to provide proof of how they plan to prevent minors from buying tobacco products. They will also have to provide Finland’s environmental officers copies of their shop’s floor plans indicating exactly where tobacco products will be stored and sold.
At present, around 40,000 retail outlets sell tobacco products throughout Finland. It is likely that some small news kiosks will not apply for the new license, which will cost EUR 200 per year. Since the emphasis of the new law is on preventing minors from buying tobacco, any retailer caught repeatedly selling to minors will lose their license.