Amendments concerning nicotine pouches planned for the Tobacco Act – Valvira reminds economic operators of product regulations

Publication date 9.11.2023 9.04 | Published in English on 9.11.2023 at 14.23
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Nicotine pouches on the table.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is currently requesting comments on the amendments proposed for the Tobacco Act concerning the sale, properties, packaging and import of nicotine pouches.


​​​The request for comments is available in the service (in Finnish) under record number VN/11255/2023.

During the spring and autumn, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) has extensively provided general guidance on the content of the Tobacco Act for economic operators that sell nicotine pouches. In addition, Valvira has received non-compliance reports concerning marketing in particular. Municipalities supervise sales and marketing subject to the Tobacco Area in their respective areas, while Valvira oversees marketing in the whole country.

Marketing tobacco substitutes is prohibited

As a rule, nicotine pouches meet the definition of a tobacco substitute as defined in the Tobacco Act. Valvira would like to remind economic operators that the sale of tobacco substitutes is only permitted to a limited extent and their marketing is completely prohibited. Marketing means advertising, indirect advertising and other sales promotion, as well as tobacco sponsorships. All activities intended to cause or promote the consumption of and demand for products referred to in the Tobacco Act are illegal.

As the prohibition on marketing applies to all communication channels, no sales promotion is permitted on the internet or any social media platforms, among others. For example, product names, images or any other product information cannot be presented on websites. The use of various discounts or expressions that highlight the low price of a product is not permitted. Furthermore, economic operators cannot advise consumers to buy a certain product by using product recommendations or other means. The prohibition on marketing also applies to companies that order or carry out marketing measures, as well as their employees. A violation of the prohibition on marketing laid down in the Tobacco Act may also be punishable by criminal law.

It should also be kept in mind that the display of tobacco substitutes is prohibited. Furthermore, economic operators cannot, in retail, provide price rebates or cash-backs for tobacco substitutes that are based on purchases of said products or other products or services.

More information about the marketing of products subject to the Tobacco Act is available on the Valvira website. In addition, the Valvira website includes guidelines under the Tobacco Act.

For further information at Valvira, please contact:

Isabella Lencioni, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 209 482
Reija Kauppi, Legal Counsel, tel. +358 295 209 429

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