Alcohol

least free less free freer freest
 Country Tax (Out of 40) Advertising (Out of 20) Other (Out of 30) Minimum Pricing (Out of 10) TOTAL (Out of 100) Change since 2017
1 Finland 40 15.7 17.3  0 73 –––
2 Sweden 28 13 22.5  0 63.5 –––
3 Lithuania 18 20 22.5  0 60.5
4 Estonia 25 13.3 11.3  0 49.6
5 Ireland 21 9.3 11.3  0 41.6
6 UK 29 0 7.5  1 37.5
7 Latvia 15 17 3.8  0 35.8
8 France 8 18 3.8  0 29.8
9 Slovenia 11 10.7 7.5  0 29.2
10 Poland 10 15.3 3.8  0 29.1
11 Croatia 7 15 4.5  0 26.5 –––
12 Malta 7 8 7.5  0 22.5
13 Austria 7 6.7 8.3  0 22 –––
14 Netherlands 9 4.7 7.5  0 21.2
15 Greece 18.4 2 0  0 20.4
16 Cyprus 6 2 11.3  0 19.3 –––
17 Denmark 12 3.3 3.8  0 19.1 –––
18 Portugal 8 10 0  0 18
19 Romania 5 7.7 3.8  0 16.5
20 Italy 6 2.3 7.5  0 15.8
21 Hungary 8 3 3.8  0 14.8
22 Slovakia 6 4.7 3.8  0 14.5
23 Spain 4 6 3.8  0 13.8 
24 Bulgaria 5 8.7 0  0 13.7
25 Luxembourg 2 4 7.5  0 13.5
26 Belgium 12 0.7 0  0 12.7
27 Germany 4 2.7 3.8  0 10.5 –––
28 Czech Republic 5 1.3 3.8  0 10.1

 

Alcohol advertising

Country Spirits TV (out of 10) Spirits sponsorship (out of 10) Spirits outdoors (out of 10) Beer / wine TV (out of 10) Beer / wine sponsorship (out of 10) Beer / wine outdoors (out of 10) TOTAL (out of 50)
Lithuania 10 10 10 10 10 10 60
France 9 10 8 9 10 8 54
Latvia 10 9 10 3 9 10 51
Finland 10 10 10 8 0 9 47
Poland 10 10 10 6 5 5 46
Croatia 10 10 10 5 5 5 45
Estonia 7 3 10 7 3 10 21
Sweden 10 2 10 10 2 5 39
Slovenia 10 2 10 7 2 1 32
Portugal 8 5 2 8 5 2 8
Ireland 10 5 0 8 5 0 28
Bulgaria 9 0 9 6 0 2 26
Malta 7 5 0 7 5 0 24
Romania 8 5 10 0 0 0 23
Austria 10 10 0 0 0 0 20
Spain 10 0 1 6 0 1 18
Netherlands 7 0 0 7 0 0 14
Slovakia 8 0 0 6 0 0 14
Luxembourg 0 2 4 0 2 4 12
Denmark 0 0 0 0 10 0 10
Hungary 2 0 3 1 0 3 9
Germany 4 0 0 4 0 0 8
Italy 2 5 0 0 0 0 7
Cyprus 3 0 0 3 0 0 6
Greece 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
Czech Republic 0 0 2 0 0 2 4
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
UK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Alcohol, other

Country Retail monopoly (out of 5) Closing time in on trade (out of 10) Promotions (eg. happy hour) (out of 10) Driving limit <0.03 (out of 5) Drinking age >18 (out of 10) TOTAL (out of 40)
Lithuania 0 10 10 0 10 30
Sweden 5 10 10 5 0 30
Finland 5 10 8 0 0 23
Cyprus 0 10 0 5 0 15
Estonia 0 0 10 5 0 15
Ireland 0 10 5 0 0 15
Austria 0 10 1 0 0 11
Italy 0 10 0 0 0 10
Luxembourg 0 10 0 0 0 10
Malta 0 10 0 0 0 10
Netherlands 0 0 10 0 0 10
Slovenia 0 10 0 0 0 10
UK 0 10 0 0 0 10
Croatia 0 3 3 0 0 6
Czech Republic 0 0 0 5 0 5
Denmark 0 0 5 0 0 5
France 0 0 5 0 0 5
Germany 0 0 5 0 0 5
Hungary 0 0 0 5 0 5
Latvia 0 0 5 0 0 5
Poland 0 0 0 5 0 5
Romania 0 0 0 5 0 5
Slovakia 0 0 0 5 0 5
Spain 0 0 5 0 0 5
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

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.

Enquiries: info@epicenternetwork.eu

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Previous version: 2017

Categories


Criteria

The alcohol category includes taxation (40%), advertising restrictions (20%), minimum pricing (10%), and other (30%).

Taxation is divided into three categories of alcohol duty: beer, wine and spirits. Each 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 40.

Advertising is divided into three categories: TV/radio advertising, outdoor advertising and sponsorship. These are subdivided into two further categories: wine/spirits and beer (wine and spirits tend to be subject to the same advertising restrictions). Each of the six resulting subcategories 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.

Minimum pricing is a new category in the Index following its introduction in Scotland and its looming introduction in Wales and Ireland. It is worth up to ten points.

Other is made up of the following five 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. 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.

Drinking age. Countries which have a higher alcohol purchasing age than 18 get ten points.

The ‘other’ subcategory produces a score out of 40 which is adjusted to make a score out of 30 for the alcohol index.


Alcohol

least free less free freer freest
 Country Tax (Out of 40) Advertising (Out of 20) Other (Out of 30) Minimum Pricing (Out of 10) TOTAL (Out of 100) Change since 2017
1 Finland 40 15.7 17.3  0 73 –––
2 Sweden 28 13 22.5  0 63.5 –––
3 Lithuania 18 20 22.5  0 60.5
4 Estonia 25 13.3 11.3  0 49.6
5 Ireland 21 9.3 11.3  0 41.6
6 UK 29 0 7.5  1 37.5
7 Latvia 15 17 3.8  0 35.8
8 France 8 18 3.8  0 29.8
9 Slovenia 11 10.7 7.5  0 29.2
10 Poland 10 15.3 3.8  0 29.1
11 Croatia 7 15 4.5  0 26.5 –––
12 Malta 7 8 7.5  0 22.5
13 Austria 7 6.7 8.3  0 22 –––
14 Netherlands 9 4.7 7.5  0 21.2
15 Greece 18.4 2 0  0 20.4
16 Cyprus 6 2 11.3  0 19.3 –––
17 Denmark 12 3.3 3.8  0 19.1 –––
18 Portugal 8 10 0  0 18
19 Romania 5 7.7 3.8  0 16.5
20 Italy 6 2.3 7.5  0 15.8
21 Hungary 8 3 3.8  0 14.8
22 Slovakia 6 4.7 3.8  0 14.5
23 Spain 4 6 3.8  0 13.8 
24 Bulgaria 5 8.7 0  0 13.7
25 Luxembourg 2 4 7.5  0 13.5
26 Belgium 12 0.7 0  0 12.7
27 Germany 4 2.7 3.8  0 10.5 –––
28 Czech Republic 5 1.3 3.8  0 10.1

 

Alcohol advertising

Country Spirits TV (out of 10) Spirits sponsorship (out of 10) Spirits outdoors (out of 10) Beer / wine TV (out of 10) Beer / wine sponsorship (out of 10) Beer / wine outdoors (out of 10) TOTAL (out of 50)
Lithuania 10 10 10 10 10 10 60
France 9 10 8 9 10 8 54
Latvia 10 9 10 3 9 10 51
Finland 10 10 10 8 0 9 47
Poland 10 10 10 6 5 5 46
Croatia 10 10 10 5 5 5 45
Estonia 7 3 10 7 3 10 21
Sweden 10 2 10 10 2 5 39
Slovenia 10 2 10 7 2 1 32
Portugal 8 5 2 8 5 2 8
Ireland 10 5 0 8 5 0 28
Bulgaria 9 0 9 6 0 2 26
Malta 7 5 0 7 5 0 24
Romania 8 5 10 0 0 0 23
Austria 10 10 0 0 0 0 20
Spain 10 0 1 6 0 1 18
Netherlands 7 0 0 7 0 0 14
Slovakia 8 0 0 6 0 0 14
Luxembourg 0 2 4 0 2 4 12
Denmark 0 0 0 0 10 0 10
Hungary 2 0 3 1 0 3 9
Germany 4 0 0 4 0 0 8
Italy 2 5 0 0 0 0 7
Cyprus 3 0 0 3 0 0 6
Greece 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
Czech Republic 0 0 2 0 0 2 4
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
UK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Alcohol, other

Country Retail monopoly (out of 5) Closing time in on trade (out of 10) Promotions (eg. happy hour) (out of 10) Driving limit <0.03 (out of 5) Drinking age >18 (out of 10) TOTAL (out of 40)
Lithuania 0 10 10 0 10 30
Sweden 5 10 10 5 0 30
Finland 5 10 8 0 0 23
Cyprus 0 10 0 5 0 15
Estonia 0 0 10 5 0 15
Ireland 0 10 5 0 0 15
Austria 0 10 1 0 0 11
Italy 0 10 0 0 0 10
Luxembourg 0 10 0 0 0 10
Malta 0 10 0 0 0 10
Netherlands 0 0 10 0 0 10
Slovenia 0 10 0 0 0 10
UK 0 10 0 0 0 10
Croatia 0 3 3 0 0 6
Czech Republic 0 0 0 5 0 5
Denmark 0 0 5 0 0 5
France 0 0 5 0 0 5
Germany 0 0 5 0 0 5
Hungary 0 0 0 5 0 5
Latvia 0 0 5 0 0 5
Poland 0 0 0 5 0 5
Romania 0 0 0 5 0 5
Slovakia 0 0 0 5 0 5
Spain 0 0 5 0 0 5
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0
Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

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