Finland: Majority Is Satisfied With Alcohol Policy Model

More than half of Finnish people are satisfied with the current alcohol policy in the current and the support for the Finnish alcohol policy model has increased, according to THL, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

More than half, or 57%, of the population consider the current alcohol policy model to be appropriate. The share of supporters had increased slightly from 54% of support in 2019 and 2018’s 49% of support, according to survey data.

In 2020, 11% of THL survey respondents were in favor of a improved alcohol policy solutions – with 19% of women and 7% of men supporting improvements of existing alcohol policy solutions. 28% of respondents wanted a weaker alcohol policy. Men in particular wanted a weakening with 37% saying so, while 18% of women expressed support for weaker alcohol policy.

The data are based on a survey conducted in January this year. Opinion polls measuring alcohol policy opinions have been conducted since 1984.

Finland: Remarkable Alcohol Use Reduction in 2019

Liquor is supposed to be only sold in Alko, sales age limits are supported

Finns’ opinions on alcohol policy are divided regarding where wine should be sold. Half of the respondents (50%) thought that wines should be allowed to be bought in grocery stores. Their share had decreased slightly from 2019 (53%).

The share of those in favor of liquor to be available in grocery stores had fallen from 16% in the previous year to 11% in 2020.

But if the entry of wines into grocery stores meant that they also sold liquor, the share of those who wanted wines to grocery stores was only 25% in the survey.

A clear majority of respondents (88%) would consider the sale of liquor in the future to be Alko’s exclusive right. This is an increase in support of Alko, the Finnish government-run alcohol retail monopoly, as in 2019 around 81% of respondents were in favor.

Similarly, age limits for the sale of alcoholic beverages receive widespread support. More than nine out of ten respondents (93%) considered the current age limit of 18 to be appropriate.

Finnish Alcohol Policy At The Crossroads

Support for alcohol policy has strengthened in recent years

Opinions towards alcohol policy changed towards weakening the alcohol policy model before the comprehensive reform of the Alcohol Act in 2018, and in 2015, only 38% of respondents considered alcohol policy solutions appropriate. Since 2015, the proportion of those who consider alcohol policy to be appropriate has gradually increased, and more than half of Finns now consider the existing solutions in the Finnish model to be appropriate.