Finland Mulls Policy that Could Evict People Who Smoke in Their Own Apartments

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A group within the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is developing a policy that could ban people from smoking in their own apartment buildings and possibly evict those who do not comply with the ban.

The Working Group on the Development of Tobacco and Nicotine Policy of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has proposed to allow housing associations and other companies to ban smoking entirely in apartments and even on balconies.

While measures exist to allow property companies to attain a smoking ban from local governments, there are no firm measures for violating the ban, broadcaster Yle reports.

The government group is looking to increase penalties for smokers, including the possibility of allowing housing companies to evict those who smoke in their own homes.

“First there is an opportunity to issue a warning, and if the violation of the ban continues, then control can be taken,” legal expert at the Finnish Property Management Association Jenni Valkama said.

The group is also looking to restrict tobacco use in other areas, including banning the import of snuff, which is sniffed, rather than smoked. The group also wished to raise the age limit to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 20, as some have argued that previous age limit increases have led to fewer young people consuming tobacco products.

Finland’s proposed restrictions on tobacco use follow a general trend across much of the west as more and more countries restrict the use of tobacco, with the Austrian government becoming one of the last western countries to ban indoor smoking in 2019 after the populist Freedom Party (FPOe) attempted to stop the ban in 2017.

Other countries have gone to even more extreme lengths to tackle tobacco use, with the leftist government in New Zealand under former Prime Minister Jacinda Arden banning anyone born after January 1st 2009 from ever buying cigarettes.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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