What plan Finland Smoking cessation can teach the world

The government of Finland has set an ambitious goal for the inhabitants of the country, which will benefit their health and Bank accounts.

Officials plan to make the country smoke-free by 2040. By that time, tobacco in any form shall be consumed less than 2% of the adult population of Finland.

It turns out that more than 98% of the population of Finland should give up cigarettes, snuff and other smokeless tobacco products, cigars, pipes and even electronic cigarettes.

According to the General trends of the industrial countries, the level of tobacco use in Finland has significantly decreased, for example by banning advertising, the abandonment of open tobacco display cases and creating smoke-free zones. In 2013, 16% of Finnish citizens aged 15 to 64 years smoked daily, and located near the UK in 2014 smoke 19% of the adult population.

However, in the beginning of this year came into force the measures of the new order.

“Finland’s approach is revolutionary, says, Paaso Kaari (Kaari Paaso), head of the Department on the reduction of harm to human health of the Ministry of health of Finland. — We want to get rid of all tobacco products.”

Experts agree in opinion that the government of Finland uses innovative methods and creative approach to deliver the population from harmful habits.

As reported by Paaso, instead of focusing on one side of the question, for example, banning cigarette advertising or Smoking in public places, the Ministry wants to fully address the problem. Finland does not adhere to the strategy to promote the use of less harmful products, such as snuff or electronic cigarettes. “It’s a big complex of various measures,” he says.

For example, in neighboring Sweden, too, there was a significant decrease in the number of smokers: in 2013, the figure was only 12.7% among men and 15.2% among women. However, this figure was achieved through the promotion of snus, a smokeless compressed tobacco product for oral use. Along with other forms of tobacco products for oral use, in the rest of the EU snus is banned.

The Kingdom also follows similar anti-Smoking policies. Instead of using snus, the country supports the use of e-cigarettes as a way to help smokers fight the addiction.

Finland wants to get rid of all such products.

“We don’t want to fall into the trap of less harmful products, says Paaso, which fears that the promotion of alternative products will lead to new forms of dependency, which later will have to fight professionals from the health sector. — We want to phase out all of these products”.

This phase out has already begun.

The increase in the cost of tobacco

According to experts, one of the most effective methods for control of tobacco use worldwide taxation. The increase in spending on the habit of Smoking means that many more can’t afford Smoking. In turn, those who can afford it, Finance anti-Smoking campaigns and services to help quit Smoking.

“It is obvious that the price increase is the main way to reduce the demand for cigarettes,” says Vaughn Rice (Vaughan Rees), the Director of the Centre for global control of tobacco use, Harvard school of public health.

“In the States with the highest taxes and the lowest visible level of tobacco use,” he says, and pays particular attention to new York, where in 2010, then-mayor Michael Bloomberg (Michael Bloomberg) have imposed an additional city tax in addition to state taxes. According to the program for Smoking cessation NYC Smoke-Free program in 2016 Smoking only 14% of new Yorkers.

Now Finland has introduced a new financial barrier for smokers: it has increased rates for firms that sell tobacco products.

“To obtain a license to sell tobacco products, you need to pay a large sum,” says Paaso.

Any company that wants to sell tobacco products, must first apply for a license, then pay it is a one-time payment. You must also annually pay a fee for the costs of control, as retail follows the rules in each municipality.

Payment of fees for the control of retail trade is the largest expenditure. It is calculated from the calculation for one check or a cashier and can be up to 500 euros per year per check.

The fee is set by municipalities, not the state. Many decided to calculate the value for the upper boundary.

“This has led to criticism from owners of small shops and big malls. They stated that the cost is disproportionately high compared to the previous year, says Paaso. But the idea was different”. The Ministry hoped that the fee will increase annually.

The store, which would be carried out ten audits must therefore pay more than five thousand dollars per year, in addition to a license to sell tobacco.

“Finland has advanced very far away… and now they want to go to the next level by adding your own innovations,” says Kelly Henning (Henning Kelly), programme Manager, public health Foundation Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization that promotes methods of control over Smoking of tobacco, introduced by the former mayor of new York.

Henning stressed that the initiative of the who about quitting tobacco Tobacco Free Initiative is a set of the six MPOWER measures. The last letter R to mean “Raising taxes on tobacco”, the “raising tobacco taxes”.

“They introduced all the methods MPOWER at the highest possible level,” she says.

Balconies and cars that are covered by the Smoking ban

Another unique approach, which was introduced this month in this country of Northern Europe — a ban on Smoking on adjacent balconies, if it bothers the neighbors.

Housing companies can now apply prohibited if cigarette smoke is distributed with someone’s private balcony and disturbing others. As in many other countries, a ban was imposed on public land, but this new measure affects the personal space of a smoker.

“You may request to cease Smoking, says, Paaso. — Big change did not happen. But these measures are still new.”

In addition, residents of Finland are not allowed to smoke in cars if they are of persons aged less than 15 years. This prohibition is not new and already applies, for example, in the UK. There is a ban on Smoking in the car is more strict: it acts in the presence of children under the age of 18.
To reduce the attractiveness of Smoking among youth

One of the key strategies of Finland in the fight against Smoking is to reduce the number of Teens who pick up the habit. This goal is achieved primarily by reducing the attractiveness of Smoking and reducing tobacco advertising.

As a result, the new methods limit the sale of products that mimic tobacco or cigarettes, for example, sweets, reminiscent of a pipe or cigarette. Although these products are not prohibited, they are subject to certain limitations. For example, the action of discount cards in shops for these goods does not apply.

Much more serious limitations faced by manufacturers of electronic cigarettes. “Electronic cigarettes are sold in conventional stores, but we have strict rules,” says Paaso.

In August 2016 there were restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarettes is the same as sales of conventional cigarettes, for example, age restrictions. In addition, it is prohibited to use flavors for electronic cigarettes. “They may not be any distinctive taste, says Paaso. — Our approach is to gradually refrain from all nicotine products.”

Use flavors for electronic cigarette was actively discussed in connection with fears that young people will have a habit that might push them to Smoking tobacco.

“This is a very important point,” says Rice from the Harvard school of public health, who believes that electronic cigarettes can help quit Smoking, and supports the position of great Britain in their attitude. However, he opposes the diversity of tastes of liquids for electronic cigarettes. “Tastes are becoming more. Appear, for example, liquid with the taste of marmalade and caramel, which, of course, like children”.

Global mission?

Finland is not the only country that wants to reduce the level of Smoking and habits of the population associated with Smoking.

Henning Rice and draw attention to Australia, in which the design of cigarette packs in combination with taxation helped to significantly reduce the number of smokers in the country. In 2014-2015, only 14.7% of adults 18 years and older smoked daily — less than in Finland at that time, in 2011-2012, Smoking was 16% of the adult population.

“They have significantly raised the cost of cigarettes, and now we see the result,” says Rice.

In China it’s different. The demand for tobacco products in recent years has increased as more people began Smoking. Three cities have banned Smoking in enclosed public places, including Beijing.

“The level of mortality caused by tobacco use is increasing because of male smokers is increasing,” says Henning. According to the organization the Tobacco Atlas, more than 1.3 million people die each year in China from diseases associated with Smoking. This is due to the fact that more than 45% of men are smokers. “We hope that these cities will pave the way in this matter.”

At the global level, the who has set a target to reduce the number of smokers among people aged 15 years and older by 30% by 2025. To reach the same performance as in reducing the rate of such noncommunicable diseases as cancer.

But Finland is still the first country to set a goal to get rid of this problem. Experts, like the government, believe that they can achieve.

“The government must set yourself such a goal,” says Rice. He, however, recognizes that not all countries will be able to achieve it, a major role in this issue is culture. “Finland, having more control over a relatively homogeneous population, can really set a goal and achieve it.”

Henning believes that even setting a goal can change the situation. “It’s a bold plan, she says. But in Finland believe that it is quite feasible”.