The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) monitors the use of tobacco and nicotine products and conducts research related to preventing and reducing the related health risks and adverse effects. THL is also responsible for national activities to promote smoking cessation.


Cigarettes are the predominant type of tobacco consumed in Finland. In 2020, 675 cigarettes were consumed per person over the age of 15. Other types of tobacco and nicotine products, such as snus (a Swedish type of moist snuff) and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), are less common.

Smoking has decreased among men since the 1960s and among women since the 2000s. In 2020, the proportion of daily smokers among 20–64-year-olds was 12% (14% men, 11% women; see Figure 1).

The table shows the the proportion of smokers among 20-64-year-olds in Finland in 2020. The content is described in the text.

Figure 1. Daily smoking among 20–64-year-old men and women and 8th and 9th grader girls and boys in 2000–2021. Notes: The prevalences for adults are means for the two years, except 2018. After 2010–2011, data from adolescents are from years 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. 

Socioeconomic differences between population groups exist. For example, the less educated smoke more than those with higher education. Still, smoking has decreased among all educational groups. 

Smoking during pregnancy has decreased recently. In 2019, 11% of pregnant women smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Smoking among youth has decreased clearly in the 2000s among the eighth and ninth graders, who are approximately 14–16-year-olds (see Figure 1). Differences by school type in secondary education are observable among adolescents: 2% of the general upper secondary school students smoked daily while the corresponding proportion for the youth studying at vocational institutions was 18% in 2021. The majority of the secondary education students providing data for the survey were 16–18-year-olds.

Snus use

In Finland, chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco and tobacco for oral use may not be sold or otherwise supplied or passed on. Private persons may import a maximum of 1,000 grams of these products within a calendar day for their personal use. Finland shares a border with Sweden where snus sales are allowed. 

In the 2000s, the daily use of snus has varied between 1–3% among working-age adults. It is used predominantly by men. The large decrease in the prevalence of daily smoking over the previous decades has been achieved without notable increases in the use of smokeless tobacco in the adult population. In recent years, the use of snus has somewhat increased, especially among younger men. In 2020, 7% of 20–64-year-old men used snus.

In Finland, the use of snus has mainly attracted young populations, especially boys. A strong increase in the daily use of snus among boys was observed in the period of 2008–2015. Since 2015, the increase has only continued among students in vocational institutions. In 2021, the proportion of daily snus users among adolescents in vocational institutions was 12% (boys: 16%; girls: 7%). The corresponding proportion for general upper secondary education students was 3% (boys: 5%; girls: 1%) and for comprehensive school students it was 4% (boys: 6%; girls: 2%). During 2017–2021, a notable increase in the use of snus was observed among girls for the first time, especially in vocational institutions.

E-cigarettes and other products under the Tobacco Act

The figure shows that daily use of electronic cigarettes among Finnish youth is decreasing. In 2021 less than 1 % of students in general upper secondary school, about 3 % in comprehensive school and 4 % in vocational institutions use E-cigarettes.

Figure 2. Daily use of electronic cigarettes among Finnish youth in 2015-2021

The use of e-cigarettes is low among the Finnish population. One percent of 20–64-year-old adults used e-cigarettes daily in 2020 (men: 2%; women: less than 1%). It has not increased among adults.

The use of e-cigarettes has decreased among adolescents. The use of e-cigarettes is more common among boys than among girls. In 2021, the daily use of e-cigarettes in comprehensive school, general upper secondary education and vocational institutes was 2%, <1% and 3% respectively. 

In Finland, the regular use of a waterpipe/shisha among adults, as well as adolescents, is low.

Tobacco and nicotine free Finland by 2030: the objective of the Tobacco Act

The aim of the Finnish Tobacco Act is to end to use of tobacco and nicotine products. The objective is considered to be reached if no more than 5% of the population uses tobacco or nicotine products in 2030. Nicotine replacement therapy is excluded from this objective as it is regulated under the Medicines Act.

Additional measures should be enacted and implemented if the objective is to be reached.

Social costs of smoking to Finnish society

It is estimated that smoking causes a significant economic burden on society. The total economic burden of smoking was estimated to have been around EUR 1.5 billion in 2012. In the same year, tax revenue for tobacco was EUR 0.75 billion (EUR 1.12 billion in 2019).

The estimated direct costs of smoking totaled around EUR 617–621 million in 2012. The indirect costs of smoking were estimated at around EUR 840–930 million.

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