HELSINKI, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Finnish President Tarja Halonen approved Friday a new tobacco act proposed by the Finnish government on Aug. 18, aiming to totally end smoking in Finland, the first country to write the aim of completely banning smoking in a law.
The purpose of a new tobacco act is to prevent in particular children and youngsters from smoking. The new act restricts selling and supplying tobacco especially to children and youngsters under 18 years old. Neither shops nor private persons are allowed to sell or provide tobacco products to persons under 18. According to the act, person who sell single cigarette or buy a packet of cigarette from a shop to a minor person should be fined or sentenced to prison for a maximum of 6 months. It is also forbidden to supply tobacco to minor persons for free.
According to the new act, persons under 18 years old are banned to import and possess tobacco products, importing tobacco products can be fined. In addition, sellers of tobacco products must be aged at least 18 years in the future. The new act also prohibits tobacco products and their trademarks being displayed in retail stores in the future. In addition, the sale of tobacco products from vending machines will be banned.
The total ban on the sale of snuff in Finland will continue. Ordering snuff through the Internet will also be forbidden.
The bans on smoking will be extended also in places used by children and youngsters, the public venues of residential areas, outdoor public places and hotel rooms.
The new act comes into effect from Oct. 1 this year. The ban on display of tobacco products and their trademarks, as well as the restrictions on smoking in hotel rooms become effective at the beginning of 2012. Sale of tobacco products in vending machines will be prohibited from the beginning of 2015.