Finland rolls out smoke-free flats

Finnish smokers may soon find themselves out in the cold, as more and more landlords insist on non-smoking rental agreements. The first tobacco-free block of flats was completed in the city of Espoo in April, but plans for another 400 similar apartments are already underway.

Anyone wishing to move into the new block will be required to sign a rental agreement that includes a no-smoking commitment, with residents agreeing to only indulge in the evil weed in outside areas designated by the landlord. As well as inside the building, smoking will also be forbidden in parking areas and on balconies, driveways and lawns.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the city’s rental company Espoonkruunu is considering introducing the clause in all new rental agreements, even for buildings where smoking is currently permitted.

Espoonkruunu managing director Esa Eichhorn said it’s only a matter of time before smoke-free residencies become the norm. “This is the trend. We are gradually switching to completely smokeless [rental agreements],” Eichhorn said in the Helsingin Sanomat report. He added that such residencies have already been considered in Helsinki and Vantaa.

An amendment by Finnish Parliament to the Tobacco Act plans to put an end to smoking in the country by forbidding brands from displaying their logos. A smoking ban is also in force in all public places and has recently been extended to include outdoor concerts and immediate areas around schools and day-care centres.