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Finland | Suomen tasavalta

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The law of Finland

Smoking is totally prohibited:

  • in the indoor premises of day-care centres for children and of educational institutions intended for students, and in their outdoor areas primarily intended for persons under the age of eighteen
  • in the indoor premises of government agencies and authorities and comparable public bodies intended for the public and clients
  • at public events arranged indoors to which the public has unrestricted access;
  • inside public means of transport
  • in the common premises of workplaces and in their indoor premises intended for clients
  • in bars and in gambling premises of restaurants and corresponding establishments, unless the exposure of employees working there to tobacco smoke can be prevented otherwise.

In June 2007 smoking was prohibited in bars and restaurants. However, designated smoking booths are allowed but may be used for smoking only. There may be no serving in the booth, nor any eating, drinking or other incidental activities. The smoking booth is not part of the serving area. With the exception of maintenance of order, fire and rescue and attendance to safety, employees are prohibited from working in the smoking booth. The smoking booth can only be cleaned on the condition that it is empty and has been well aired and that the employees safety has been attended to.

Construction of smoking booths is subject to a permit and approval from the building permit authorities. Smoking booths shall meet the requirements laid out in the decrees of the Government and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health concerning structure, technical aspects and functionality. The smoking booth of a restaurant shall be at least 7 sq m in size and its structure and ventilation shall be such as to prevent tobacco smoke from spreading to the surrounding premises or elsewhere inside the same or another building. The booth shall be equipped with ventilation as provided for in the Smoking Booths Decree which permits tobacco smoke to be removed outside and the booth to have negative pressure. The booth shall be at negative pressure at all times. The shortest distance between the upper part of the door and the ceiling must be at least 400 mm. Access to the booth shall be organised in a manner that prevents tobacco smoke from spreading outside the booth. In addition, a plan for the use and maintenance of the smoking booth shall be prepared.A restaurant may also provide an opportunity for smoking out of doors, in which case it shall, under the Act, ensure that tobacco smoke does not pass back into the restaurant through an open window, door or other opening or via the ventilation system. Any smoking premises located out of doors are also subject to the consent of the property owner. A two-year transition period was set up to allow bars and restaurants >50m2 to install the smoking rooms. Restaurants of <50m2, which were not covered by previous legislation, will have to be completely smokefree. This will take effect in June 2009.

The minimum age to purchase tobacco is set at 18.