In Finland the consumption of tobacco products started to decline before the first Tobacco Act was introduced in 1977. New Tobacco Act entered into force on 15 August 2016.
The prevalence of smoking between different educational groups has started to narrow. However, smoking is still the most important factor explaining mortality differences between groups with different levels of education.
Among low-level employees (30 percent smoke daily), smoking is more common than average, whereas it is less common among senior salaried employees (9 percent smoke daily). Smoking is the most common among unemployed people (34 percent smoke daily).
People generally take up smoking as a child or adolescent, but in Finland the starting age has climbed with the restriction on the availability of cigarettes. Few adults take up smoking. According to a health survey of young people conducted in 2015, 3 percent of 14-year-old girls smoked on a daily basis, while 12 percent of 16-year-old girls were daily smokers.
The corresponding percentages for boys of the same age were 3 percent and 13 percent. Those who had not even tried smoking were a majority among 14- and 16-year olds, but among adolescents two years older than that, the majority had tried smoking.
Despite the fact that smoking has declined, the pace of the progress has been rather slow. To end the use of tobacco products, which has been set as the object of the Tobacco Act, requires increasing the effectiveness of current measures and developing new ones.