Finland

More than half of Finns are satisfied with the current alcohol policy

More than half, or 57 per cent, of the population, consider the current alcohol policy restrictions to be appropriate. The share of supporters had increased slightly from last year’s (54%) and the previous year’s 2018 (49%) surveys. This year, 11 per cent of respondents were in favour of a stricter alcohol policy (12% in 2019). Nineteen per cent of women and 7 per cent of men still wanted tightening the current alcohol policy.

28% of respondents wanted a looser alcohol policy. Men, in particular, wanted a looser alcohol policy (37%) while 18 per cent of women wanted a looser alcohol policy. 

“The difference between women and men is significant and has for a long time covered the answers to all the questions on alcohol policy in the survey,” says Thomas Karlsson, THL’s lead expert. 

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

Finns’ opinions on alcohol policy are divided by where wines 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 last year (53%).

The share of those wishing to move spirits sale to grocery stores had fallen from 16 per cent in the previous year to 11 per cent in 2020.

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

A clear majority of respondents (88%) would consider the sale of spirits in the future to be Alko’s exclusive right. Last year, they were 81 per cent of respondents.

Opinions changed in a more liberal direction before the reform of the Alcohol Act in 2018, and in 2015, only 38 per cent of respondents considered alcohol policy restrictions to be appropriate. Since 2015, the proportion of those who think alcohol policy to be appropriate has gradually increased, and more than half of Finns now consider restrictions to be necessary.

Source: THL