You need a permit for the retail sale and wholesale of tobacco products and nicotine products. The permits are specific to places of sale and permit-holders.
Sale of Tobacco and Nicotine Products
Contents of this page:
Applying for the sale permit of tobacco products and nicotine liquids
Read the instructions of permit application
You will find the instructions for the permit application for retail sale of tobacco products from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) website. Read the conditions and impediments of permits carefully.
Compile a self-monitoring plan
Compile a self-monitoring plan and implement it in your operations. Valvira offers instructions for compiling a self-monitoring plan and a template.
Attach your self-monitoring plan to your retail sale permit application or wholesale announcement.
Order the identification system's identifier code
Apply for an identifier code mandated by the identification system for your place of sale. Your will need the identifier code to purchase products from the wholesaler.
Fill in and deliver the permit application
Fill in the online retail sale permit application or the wholesale permit application on Valvira’s website (in Finnish). File the application at least four weeks before the planned beginning date of the operations.
We recommend filing the application online. However, you may fill in the application on a printed form. Find the written permit application form and wholesale announcement from Valvira’s website. Deliver the permit application and all relevant attachments separately to Oulun seudun ympäristötoimi, PL 34, 90015 Oulun kaupunki.
You may begin the sale of tobacco products only after the permit has been granted.
Once the retail sale permit has been processed, you will receive a permit decision and a display permit. Place the display permit in a place that is visible to your customers in the place of sale.
You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt about the processing of the wholesale permit.
Processing permit applications and wholesale announcements are subject to a charge. Read more on the charges here (in Finnish). An annual control charge is collected on top of the processing charge.
The sale of tobacco products and nicotine liquids is supervised systematically. Inspections will be done once in two years according to the control plan.
If there are changes in your permit information such as the number of places of sale, name of the place of sale, significant change in sale operations or termination of tobacco product sale, file an announcement via e-mail to address email@example.com or via mail to Oulun seudun ympäristötoimi, PL 34, 90015 Oulun kaupunki. The announcement can be freeform, or you may use Valvira's form (in Finnish).
Remember to announce termination of operations to the identifier code supplier (ID Issuer).
Sale of nicotine products
Nicotine products mean medication used for self-care that aim to replace the nicotine received from tobacco products and thus prevent or relieve withdrawal symptoms due to quitting the use of tobacco products.
Nicotine products can be sold in retail stores, kiosks, gas stations and restaurants on top of pharmacies. Nicotine product sale permits can be granted to places of sale that also have a tobacco product sale permit.
Nicotine product sale permit application
You have a tobacco product retail sale permit
You have compiled a self-monitoring plan for nicotine product sale and the plan is implemented
Nicotine products are stored according to the package label’s instructions and defective products are removed from sale
Nicotine products are only sold to people over the age of 18
A salesperson supervises the purchases
Nicotine products cannot be sold with self-service checkouts
Fill in and deliver the permit application
Fill in the nicotine product sale permit application (in Finnish) (pdf). File the application at least four weeks before the planned starting date of the operations. Deliver the filled in application to the Environmental Office of the Oulu Region via e-mail to the address firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail:
Oulun seudun ympäristötoimi, PL 34, 90015 Oulun kaupunki.
When the retail sale permit has been processed, you will receive a permit decision. You may start the sale of nicotine products only after the permit has been granted.
The permit processing is subject to a charge. More on the charges here (in Finnish). Additionally, an annual payment is collected for the control.
The sale of nicotine products is supervised systematically together with the supervision of tobacco product sale.
If the permit information changes or you terminate nicotine product sale, you must announce it. You may file the announcement via e-mail to the address email@example.com or by mail to the address
Oulun seudun ympäristötoimi, PL 34, 90015, Oulun kaupunki. The announcement can be freeform, or you may use the prepared form (in Finnish).
Smoking prohibitions and restrictions
Smoking is prohibited in spaces used by the public, staff and customers. The smoking prohibition includes the smoking of water pipes, smoking products of vegetative origin and electronic cigarettes. The smoking prohibition applies to buildings, vehicles and other comparable indoor spaces.
In some cases, smoking is prohibited in outdoors spaces as well, such as:
Public event spaces that are meant for direct speciation of the event where spectators remain in one place
Outdoor spaces of daycare centres and educational institutions
Outdoor spaces of institutions providing care for children under 18 years old according to the Child Welfare Act and the Mental Health Act
Public beaches from the beginning of May to the end of September
The use of smokeless tobacco products (such as snuff) is prohibited in the indoor and outdoor spaces of daycare centres and educational institutions.
Restaurants may allow smoking on terraces if at least two of the terrace’s platforms have been let open. Smoke is not allowed to transfer into spaces in which smoking is prohibited, for example, inside the restaurant or into other business premises or residential buildings.
The Environmental Office of the Oulu Region supervises the compliance with smoking prohibitions and restrictions together with other supervision, such as on EU standard beaches and the indoors and outdoors of daycare centres and schools.
Inside restaurants, smoking is only permitted in specific smoking areas. Smoking is the use of tobacco products that are smoked or otherwise heated. The smoking prohibitions and restrictions also apply to other herbal products for smoking and electronic cigarettes.
The smoking area requires a building inspection’s permit. You may inquire further about the technical requirements from building inspection.
Smoking areas are only permitted to be used for smoking, it is not permitted to serve or enjoy drinks there and it is not permitted to arrange activities there.
The minimal size of smoking areas is 7 m².
Smoke is not permitted to spread outside the smoking area
The smoking area and the exhaust air duct are equipped with a fixed measuring device that can be used to determine the exhaust air flow rate from outside of the smoking area.
The ventilation of the smoking area must be inspected regularly, and findings must be recorded.
The smoking areas of restaurants must be built so that they can be supervised from the outside, or the supervision must be arranged in some other way.
The operator must have a self-monitoring plan that explains how to ensure the functioning of the smoking area and how the conditions and order can be supervised from outside the smoking area.
The Environmental Office of the Oulu Region does inspections to restaurant’s smoking areas according to the control plan.