The downward trend in daily smoking among adolescents began at the turn of the century and continued over the last two years. 14 percent of 16-18-year-old boys and 13 percent of girls at the same age still smokes on a daily basis. Of 14-year-olds, every fifth had tried smoking.

Between 2011 and 2015, tobacco purchases of under-aged adolescents from commercial sources diminished while no significant change was seen between 2013 and 2015. Although, the law regarding the sales of tobacco has been tightened up, still nearly every tenth daily smoking 14 -year-old and every fifth 16-year-old had bought tobacco from shops and a somewhat smaller proportion from kiosks.

Snus and e-cigs

Experimenting with snus has increased both among boys and girls. Also snus use among boys has increased. Of 16-year-old boys, 2 percent and of 18-year-old boys 4 percent used daily only snus, but did not smoke cigarettes at all. These proportions were higher than in 2013 (0.4 percent and 0.9 percent respectively). When use of snus was taken into account, the age-adjusted proportions of those who use tobacco products daily were 18 percent among 16- to 18-year-old boys and 14 percent among girls. The sale of snus is forbidden in Finland, and it is only permitted to import small amounts of it for one's own use. However,  snus is still too easily available to adolescents. 

Electronic cigarettes are fairly new products among adolescents.  Young people experiment with electronic cigarette but have rarely used them more than a few times. The most common liquid used in the e-cigarette was nicotine, and every tenth of those who had tried electronic cigarettes had not tried tobacco products at all.


Kinnunen JM, Pere L, Lindfors P, Ollila H, Rimpelä A. The Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey 2015. Adolescent smoking, alcohol and substance use in 1977–2015. Ministry of social affairs and health, 2015.

Did you know that

  • In Finland, adolescent smoking has almost halved during the 21st century.
  • Experiments with smoking and subsequent regular smoking have moved to and older age.