This is the first edition of the Nanny State Index, a league table of the worst places in the European Union to eat, drink, smoke and vape. The Nanny State Index is an initiative from the European Policy Information Center (EPICENTER).

Enquiries: info@epicenternetwork.eu


About the Editor

Christopher Snowdon is the head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. His research focuses on lifestyle freedoms, prohibition and policy-based evidence. He is a regular contributor to the Spectator Health blog and often appears on TV and radio discussing social and economic issues.

Snowdon’s work encompasses a diverse range of topics including ‘sin taxes’, state funding of charities, happiness economics, ‘public health’ regulation, gambling and the black market. Recent publications include ‘Drinking, Fast and Slow’, ‘The Proof of the Pudding: Denmark’s Fat Tax Fiasco’, ‘The Crack Cocaine of Gambling?’, ‘The Wages of Sin Taxes’, ‘Drinking in the Shadow Economy’, ‘Sock Puppets: How the government lobbies itself and why’ and ‘Closing Time: Who’s killing the British pub?’. He is also the author of ‘Selfishness, Greed and Capitalism’ (2015), ‘The Art of Suppression’ (2011), ‘The Spirit Level Delusion’ (2010) and ‘Velvet Glove, Iron Fist’ (2009).


18th 12th 7th 28th Final score // 13th

Taxes on beer, wine and spirits and all higher than the EU average in Estonia. The country has mixed rules on alcohol advertising, allowing it on TV and radio after 9pm but banning wine and spirits advertising outdoors. Its near-total ban on tobacco advertising is typical of EU member states, as is its ban on cigarette vending machines, although it does not have graphic warnings or a display ban.

Estonia’s smoking restrictions are less severe than most EU countries. A law that effectively prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes was overturned in 2013 and they can now be sold as consumer products. There are a few restrictions on vaping indoors.