The ban on menthol cigarettes will take effect on Wednesday, May 20th. After that, they can no longer be sold.

The ban is based on the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

In cigarettes and wrapping tobacco, all flavours other than menthol have been banned since 2016. However, the Tobacco Products Directive provided for a transitional period for certain products. In Finland, such transitional products included menthol tobacco. Now the transition period is coming to an end.

Hanna Ollila, an expert in tobacco harm prevention at the Department of Health and Welfare, hopes that those who have used menthol cigarettes will get a boost from the new situation to quit smoking.

According to the Tobacco Act, a cigarette or wrapping tobacco with a characteristic odor or taste may not be sold to the consumer. A characteristic smell or taste means something other than the smell or taste of the actual tobacco, says Valvira. Such other odor or taste is usually derived from additives.

The Tobacco Act also prohibits the use of characteristic odors and flavors in nicotine liquids and nicotine-free liquids intended for evaporation. These are, in practice, e-tobacco liquids.