About

The Nanny State Index (NSI) is a league table of the worst places in the European Union to eat, drink, smoke and vape. The initiative was launched in March 2016 and was a media hit right across Europe. It is masterminded and led by IEA’s Christopher Snowdon with partners from all over Europe. The 2017 edition of the index was revealed during a full day conference in Brussels and featured high level discussions and debates between MEPs, industry experts, think tankers and regulators about the effects of regulation on health outcomes.

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Categories


Criteria

The alcohol category includes taxation (50%), advertising restrictions (20%) and other (30%).

Taxation is divided into three categories - beer, wine and spirits - each of which has equal weighting. The data come from the European Commission (wine and spirits) and the British Beer and Pub Association (beer). Tax rates are adjusted for purchasing power. The country with the highest rate of tax scores 100. The other countries’ scores are based on their tax rate as a percentage of the highest taxing country. Calculations are made for each of the three types of drink, leaving a score out of 300 which is converted into a score out of 50.

Advertising is divided into three categories: TV/radio advertising, outdoor advertising and sponsorship. These are subdivided into two subcategories: wine/spirits and beer, leaving six categories. Each subcategory is given a score out of 10, with 10 representing a full ban and 0 representing no significant restrictions. This leaves a score out of 60 which is converted to a score out of 20.

Other is made up of the following four subcategories with a total value of 30 points:

Retail monopoly. Some countries have a state-owned monopoly on alcohol retail, thereby restricting competition, reducing availability and raising prices. Monopoly = 5 points. No monopoly = 0 points.

Statutory closing time in the on-trade. Some countries force bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol and/or close at a certain time of night. These countries score 10 points, those which allow the proprietor to decide when to close receive 0 points.

Zero or near-zero drunk driving limit. Most EU countries have a drunk driving limit of 0.05% blood alcohol concentration. Others, including the UK, have a higher limit of 0.08%. In some countries, however, the limit is set so low as to be more of temperance measure than a road safety measure. A limit of 0.02% or lower is well below the range at which driving becomes dangerous and has the effect of discouraging people from consuming alcohol if they are driving the following morning. Countries which set the limit at 0.02% or lower are given 5 points in the index.

Ban on promotions. Some countries restrict or ban the use of sales promotions such as happy hour or two-for-one deals. No restrictions = 0 points. Partial restrictions: up to 9 points. Full ban: 10 points.


Alcohol

least free less free freer freest
 Country Tax (Out of 50) Advertising (Out of 20) Other (Out of 30) GRAND TOTAL (Out of 100)
1 Finland 47.8 14.3 25 87.1
2 Sweden 36 13 25 74
3 Ireland 34 8 15 57
4 UK 37.6 0 11 48.6
5 France 10.2 18 10 38.2
6 Latvia 16.6 16 5 37.6
7 Estonia 23.2 7 5 35.2
8 Lithuania 14 8 12 34
9 Poland 13.6 15.3 5 33.9
10 Slovenia 14.2 9.3 10 33.5
11 Croatia 9.6 13.3 3 25.9
12 Netherlands 11.6 2 10 23.6
13 Austria 5.7 6.7 11 23.4
14 Malta 9.5 2.7 10 22.2
15 Italy 7.9 4 10 21.9
16 Cyprus 8.8 2 10 20.8
17 Denmark 15.6 0 5 20.6
18 Greece 16 2.7 0 18.7
19 Hungary 10.2 3 5 18.2
20 Belgium 14.9 2.3 0 17.2
21 Romania 7.1 4.7 5 16.8
22 Luxembourg 1.9 4 10 15.9
23 Bulgaria 6.8 6.7 0 13.5
24 Slovakia 7.9 0 5 12.9
25 Czech Republic 6.5 1.3 5 12.8
26 Portugal 9.3 2.7 0 12
27 Germany 4.8 1.3 5 11.1
28 Spain 5 3.3 0 8.3 

Alcohol taxation

least free less free freer freest
 
  Country Wine tax hecto-litre Tax / PPS x 100 As % of worst Beer tax, pence per pint Tax / PPS x 100 As % of worst Spirits litre pure alcohol Tax / PPS x 100 As % of worst Total out of 300/3 = score out of 100 Final score (out of 50)
1 Finland 339 313.89 91.65 72.3 66.94 100 45.55 42.18 95.08 95.6 47.8
2 UK 377.14 342.85 100 53.2 48.36 73 37.55 34.14 76.96 75.1 37.6
3 Sweden 268.47 218.27 63.66 43.1 35.04 52.3 54.56 44.36 100 72 36
4 Ireland 424.84 292.99 85.54 50.8 35.03 52.3 42.57 29.36 66.18 68 34
5 Estonia 111.98 151.32 44.18 14.2 19.19 28.7 21.72 29.35 66.16 46.3 23.2
6 Latvia 74 115.63 33.76 7.0 10.94 16.3 14 21.88 49.33 33.1 16.6
7 Greece 20 28.17 0 14.1 19.86 29.7 24.5 34.51 77.79 31.9 16
8 Denmark 155.62 125.5 36.64 16.9 13.63 20.4 20.11 16.22 36.56 31.2 15.6
9 Belgium 74.9 64.02 18.69 10.0 8.55 12.8 29.92 25.57 57.64 29.7 14.9
10 Slovenia 0  0 0 27.3 32.89 49.1 13.2 15.9 35.84 28.3 14.2
11 Lithuania 77.89 105.26 30.73 6.1 8.24 12.3 13.53 18.28 41.21 28.1 14
12 Poland 37.21 53.93 15.75 10.2 14.78 22.1 13.43 19.46 43.87 27.2 13.6
13 Netherlands 88.36 68.5 20 17.1 13.26 19.8 16.86 13.07 29.46 23.1 11.6
14 France 3.77 3.56 1.04 16.5 15.56 23.2 17.38 16.4 36.97 20.4 10.2
15 Hungary 0  0 0 11.8 17.35 25.9 10.66 15.68 35.34 20.4 10.2
16 Croatia 0 0 0 11.9 20.52 30.6 6.93 11.95 26.94 19.2 9.6
17 Malta 20.5 23.03 6.72 9.4 10.56 15.7 13.6 15.28 34.44 18.9 9.5
18 Portugal 0  0 0 8.5 11.04 16.5 13.28 17.25 38.88 18.5 9.3
19 Cyprus 0 0 0 13.5 16.67 24.9 9.57 11.81 26.62 17.5 8.8
20 Slovakia 0  0 0 8.1 10.52 15.7 10.8 14.02 31.61 15.8 7.9
21 Italy 0  0 0 14.6 15.37 22.9 10.36 10.91 24.59 15.8 7.9
22 Romania 0  0 0 4.8 8.42 12.6 7.49 13.14 29.62 14.1 7.1
23 Bulgaria 0 0 0 4.1 8.91 13.3 5.62 12.22 27.55 13.6 6.8
24 Czech Republic 0 0 0 6.3 7.41 11.1 10.49 12.34 27.82 12.9 6.5
25 Austria 0 0 0 10.8 8.5 12.8 12 9.45 21.3 11.4 5.7
26 Spain 0  0 0 4.5 4.89 7.3 9.13 9.92 22.36 9.9 5
27 Germany 0  0 0 4.3 3.44 5.1 13.03 10.42 23.48 9.5 4.8
 28 Luxembourg 0  0 0 4.3 1.59 2.4 10.41 3.84 8.66 3.7 1.9
 

Alcohol advertising

  Country Spirits TV / radio Spirits sponsorship Spirits outdoors Beer / wine TV / radio Beer / wine sponsorship Beer / wine outdoors TOTAL Weighting (20%)
1 France 9 10 8 9 10 8 54 18
2 Latvia 10 9 10 0 9 10 48 16
3 Poland 10 10 10 6 5 5 46 15.3
4 Finland 10 10 10 4 0 9 43 14.3
5 Croatia 10 10 10 5 0 5 40 13.3
6 Sweden 10 2 10 10 2 5 39 13
7 Slovenia 10 2 10 3 2 1 28 9.3
8 Ireland 10 5 0 4 5 0 24 8
9 Lithuania 4 2 10 4 2 2 24 8
10 Estonia 3 0 10 3 0 5 21 7
11 Austria 10 10 0 0 0 0 20 6.7
12 Bulgaria 9 0 9 0 0 2 20 6.7
13 Romania 4 5 0 0 5 0 14 4.7
14 Italy 2 10 0 0 0 0 12 4
15 Luxembourg 0 2 4 0 2 4 12 4
16 Spain 5 0 1 3 0 1 10 3.3
17 Hungary 2 0 3 1 0 3 9 3
18 Greece 2 1 1 2 1 1 8 2.7
19 Malta 2 2 0 2 2 0 8 2.7
20 Portugal 4 0 0 4 0 0 8 2.7
21 Belgium 5 0 0 0 0 2 7 2.3
22 Cyprus 3 0 0 3 0 0 6 2
23 Netherlands 3 0 0 3 0 0 6 2
24 Czech Republic 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 1.3
25 Germany 2 0 0 2 0 0 4 1.3
26 Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
28 UK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

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