HELSINKI, May 29 (Xinhua) -- As the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) draws near, Finland's Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has received this year's World No Tobacco Day Award issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry said in a press release on Friday.
The award recognizes the ministry's long-term commitment to work on tobacco control and its exemplary actions to protect the public, particularly young people, from exposure to smoking.
Back in 2010, Finland amended its Tobacco Act and the objective of reducing smoking was changed to ending the use of tobacco products in the country by 2040. In 2016, the act was updated with the new objective of ending the use of tobacco and other nicotine products in Finland by 2030.
As of May 20, menthol has been officially banned as a flavoring of tobacco products throughout the European Union, and also in Finland, to keep teenagers from taking up smoking.
To reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes among young people in particular, Finland has also strictly regulated the use of e-cigarettes and prohibited characterizing flavors in liquids for e-cigarettes.
The WHO recognizes Finland's efforts in curbing tobacco use, and considers the country's anti-tobacco policy exemplary in Europe. Finland has also globally led the way in implementing successful anti-tobacco policy measures under the direction of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Every year, the WHO recognizes individuals or organizations for their achievements in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of World No Tobacco Day Awards.
According to the WHO, tobacco kills about eight million people around the world every year.
World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated worldwide by the WHO and its member states on May 31 every year since 1987. The theme of this year's No Tobacco Day is protecting young people from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.