White snus flavour ban in Finland - online sales stopped

Mint and menthol. But also green and black tea, rosemary, ginger and different types of wood. This is the only way nicotine portions should taste in Finland. The new government proposes this in a proposal to Parliament. The nicotine content will be limited to 16.5 mg/gram and online sales will be banned. At the same time, all use of smokeless nicotine will be banned in and around schools and playgrounds.

Since May 2023, it has been free to sell nicotine pouches without restrictions in Finland. This is after the Finnish Medicines Agency released controls pending a new regulation under the Tobacco Act. Finland's previous government, with the help of Finland's tough tobacco regulation, ban the products completely. But after the elections that year, it became clear that the new government had different plans. Nicotine pouches would now be authorised for sale, albeit taxed and subject to severe restrictions.

"Preventing youth addiction"

In its proposal to regulate white snus, the government now proposes a ban on most of the current flavours, as well as a ban on online sales.

"The regulation aims to prevent youth use, grey imports and illegal trade and to fight organised crime." Says the government in its proposal.

Get a taste of mint and wood

The regulation is not entirely different from that of electronic cigarettes and e-liquids. Here, only so-called 'tobacco flavours' are allowed. However, white snus may contain a few more flavours. 

"Characteristic scents or flavours shall be prohibited, with the exception of menthol, mint, tea, ginger, rosemary and wood. Otherwise, the Government proposes to regulate smokeless nicotine products in a largely similar way to the provisions of the Tobacco Act for tobacco products and nicotine liquids." Writes the government.

Prohibition on school premises

The appearance of the packaging itself will also be regulated. This involves so-called "plain packaging" - that is, a form of standardised label whose colour and shape will be determined by the authorities. At the same time, the government proposes to ban the use of all nicotine products, including nicotine pouches, in several specific locations.

"The use of smokeless nicotine products will be prohibited in both indoor and outdoor areas and in educational institutions providing pre-school and primary education, vocational training or secondary education, as well as in playgrounds and kindergartens." writes Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release.

The government also proposes that people under the age of 18 should not be allowed to import or possess so-called tobacco substitutes - i.e. e-cigarettes and white snus.

No new rules for medicines

Despite having the same content as other white snus, nicotine pouches sold by pharmaceutical companies through pharmacies will not be affected by the new laws.

"The amendments to the Tobacco Act would have no effect on nicotine pouch products that already have a marketing authorisation under the Medicines Act or for which a marketing authorisation is subsequently applied for as medicines. In future, the Medicines Agency, upon application, be able to grant a marketing authorisation under the Medicines Act for a nicotine pouch preparation intended for medical use in the treatment of a known disease, for example for weaning from tobacco dependence." Writes Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Sources for this article:
Government proposes stricter regulation of the sale of nicotine pouches.

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