Smoking inside a private car will continue to be legal in Finland. In this respect at least, the government bill to expand the existing smoking ban will not receive the approval of Parliament.
The Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Law says in its report that the ban would penetrate so deeply into people’s private lives that it could only be passed in connection with amendments to the Constitution.
The governmenthad proposed to make it illegal to light a cigarette in a car in which children under the age of 18 are passengers.
The Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Law also implies that banning smoking in one’s own car is such a drastic measure that it would not be in correct proportion to the aim of the move, which is to improve the nation’s health.
The Committee says in its statement that symbolic lawmaking should be avoided:
“There is also reason to suspect that in reality the monitoring of such a ban could not be carried out effectively”.
The Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Law also wants certain changes to the article in the bill that would ban the displaying of tobacco products and brands in retail outlets.
The banning of displaying brands and trademarks, in particular, has to do with laws on property protection, the Committee points out.
Instead of introducing a total display ban, the Committee feels that the law should be toned down in such a way that a customer could familiarise himself with a catalogue of the available tobacco products and take a separate list of the products with him.
The governmenthad argued that displaying the products could induce impulse buying, especially among those who have decided to quit or are trying to quit smoking.
The new law on tobacco will be put before Parliament once the Parliamentary Social Affairs and Health Committee has finished its report on it.
After the amendment, the sale of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18 would be illegal.
The smoking ban will broaden to include outdoor concerts and hotel rooms.