The age limit for tobacco in Sweden is 18 years. This age limit for tobacco was introduced on January 1, 1997, to prevent smoking among children and young people and applies to all types of tobacco products such as cigarettes and snuff. Tobacco products may not be directly available to customers at a point of sale and information about age limits need to be clearly visible.
Age limit of 18 years for tobacco
The Swedish Tobacco Act came into force in 1993 and from thenceforth regulated, among other things, how tobacco is allowed to be marketed and where smoking is allowed to take place. The purpose of instituting the Act was to take the health risks that can be associated with using tobacco and being exposed to tobacco smoke into account. In 1997, the Swedish Tobacco Act was tightened, and an age limit of 18 years was introduced for tobacco. From that point onwards it became illegal to sell or hand over tobacco to children below 18 years of age. The Swedish Tobacco Act was repealed in 2019 and it is now the Swedish Act (2018:2088) on tobacco and similar products that applies. This Act also contains an age limit of 18 years for buying tobacco. You are also not allowed to sell tobacco to someone over the age of 18 if you suspect that the person is going to hand over the tobacco to a minor.
The age limit for tobacco applies to the purchases of tobacco products. There is no age limit that regulates the age of the person who sells tobacco, nor is there an age limit for the use or possession of tobacco.
The purpose of the age limit for tobacco
One of the reasons why we have an age limit for tobacco is to prevent children and young people from using tobacco products. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has said that children’s use of tobacco can be reduced through legislation and measures such as banning the sale of tobacco to children.
Age limit for tobacco in Europe
In Europe, most countries, just like Sweden, have an age limit of 18 years for tobacco. Many of the countries have raised their age limits in recent years because of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive. Among other things, the Tobacco Products Directive governs how tobacco may be manufactured, marketed and sold.
In addition to the age limit for tobacco, the Tobacco Products Directive contains the following provisions:
• Warning texts and warning images must occupy 65% of the front and back of the packaging.
• A prohibition of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with a characteristic taste, such as that of menthol.
• Traceability and labeling requirements for combatting the illegal trade of tobacco products.
• A prohibition on the sale of snuff, except for Sweden.