Living in a Tobacco-Free Future
Would it be possible to live in a world free of tobacco? For decades, cigarette companies have profiteered endlessly on the back of the health of the public. With the advent of vaporising, e-vapes, and e-cigs, that looks like it’s changing. Not to mention, the growing worldwide consensus that cigarettes are incredibly unhealthy for you, along with tax increases on tobacco products, has led to millions cutting the habit.
But tobacco, due to nicotine, and its other 200 chemicals, is addictive at its core. Unfortunately, many people have had terrible difficulty quitting the habit because of this. Different types of strategies work for different people in mitigating this addiction. Whether its extinction therapy, counselling, vaping, or going cold turkey.
Finland may be the first country to pull off a smoke-free tobacco future – meaning smokers have no choice but to give it up. To reach this vision, Finnish authorities plan on focusing on both smokers and retailers. Bans on certain flavours of tobacco are an example of recent measures, along with taxations on vapers. In 2017, 10ml bottles of e-liquid are now taxed at three euros a piece, while the only flavour allowed is tobacco. Due to the lack of diversity of vape flavours in Finland, the enticing lure of these products is almost non-existent.
In their roadmap towards a smoke-free Finland, the government has committed to strong tobacco controls, in line with the requirements of the World Health Organisation. Their plan is to make the country officially tobacco-free by 2040. In recent decades, smoking rates have already been on the decline due to measures such as bans on advertising and shop displays and smoke-free public spaces.
Unlike other countries, the ministry wants to be precautionary from every angle. Naturally, they do not plan on advocating milder products such as vapers or e-cigarettes (which is what the UK does). While Finland’s program may be aggressive, it may mean that a cigarette smoking free country could come into reality soon.
While taxations on cigarettes for the consumer, has been one of the most efficient strategies to reduce smoking worldwide, Finland’s upped the ante. It’s also increased the costs for vendors to sell tobacco, through a high fee license fee. Any business must first apply and then pay for a license, which must be paid for once annually to cover costs of surveillance operators.