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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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).


The Index 2017

least free less free freer freest
Countries E-cigs (1/6) Tobacco (1/6) Food (1/3) Alcohol (1/3) TOTAL (out of 100) Change in position since 2016
1 Finland 9.9 10.4 2.3 29 51.6 Same
2 UK 2.7 15.2 3.3 16.2 37.4 Higher
3 Ireland 2.7 12.5 2.3 19 36.5 Higher
4 Hungary 9.8 8.5 9.3 6.1 33.7 Higher
5 Sweden 1.7 5.7 1 24.7 33.1 Lower
6 France 3.3 10.6 3.7 12.7 30.3 Same
7 Latvia 6.2 7.5 3.3 12.5 29.5 Higher
8 Lithuania 7.5 7.6 3 11.3 29.4 Lower
9 Poland 7.2 7.8 0.7 11.3 27 Higher
10 Greece 8.4 10 2 6.2 26.6 Higher
11 Slovenia 4 7.3 1.3 11.2 23.8 Higher
12 Belgium 7.6 7.1 2.7 5.7 23.1 Lower
13 Croatia 4.2 9.5 0 8.7 22.4 Higher
14 Estonia 2.7 7 0 11.7 21.4 Lower
15 Cyprus 6.9 7.3 0 6.9 21.1 Higher
16 Italy 4.5 7.3 0.7 7.3 19.8 Higher
17 Malta 3.3 8.7 0 7.4 19.4 Lower
18 Denmark 3.5 5.9 2.7 6.9 19 Lower
19 Spain 8 8.1 0 2.8 18.9 Higher
20 Bulgaria 3.5 8.8 2 4.5 18.8 Higher
21 Portugal 7.5 6.5 0.7 4 18.7 Lower
22 Romania 4 8.8 0 5.6 18.4 Lower
23 Austria 3.5 5.5 0.7 7.8 17.5 Same
24 Netherlands 2.7 6.6 0 7.9 17.2 Higher
25 Luxembourg 6.7 5 0 5.3 17 Higher
26 Slovakia 5.3 6.6 0 4.3 16.2 Lower
27 Germany 6.9 5.3 0 3.7 15.9 Same
28 Czech Republic 2.7 4.5 0 4.3 11.5 Same

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