Like its neighbours Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia taxes spirits heavily and takes a tough line on alcohol marketing, but its taxes on wine and beer are significantly lower.

Tobacco advertising is illegal in all forms. Cigarette vending machines are prohibited and smoking is banned in all bars, restaurants, casinos and airports except for designated smoking areas. Smoking is banned at public transport stops and within ten metres of government buildings, as well as in parks, squares and playgrounds except designated areas. The ban includes outdoor places within 10 metres of government buildings, public transport stops, apartment stairwells/corridors, balconies, and around children. If someone asks you to stop smoking near them, you must do so by law. The same rule applies to vaping.

E-cigarettes are classified as consumer products and can be sold to anyone over the age of 18, but their use is prohibited wherever smoking is banned. In 2016, the government introduced a €0.01 per ml tax on e-cigarette fluid, plus €0.005 per mg of nicotine, amounting to 90 cents on a standard bottle of 16mg/ml fluid. Heated tobacco is taxed at €66 per kilogram.

Latvia banned the sale of energy drinks to people aged under 18 in June 2016. There are also restrictions on energy drink advertising (it is banned in schools, on children’s television, on public buildings and it cannot be associated with sport). Advertisements must carry a warning about the supposed risks of drinking them. Energy drinks must be displayed separately from other food items in shops.

In May 2016, new limits on trans fats were introduced (2g per 100g of total fat content). Sweetened soft drinks, including those with zero calories, are taxed at €0.074 per litre.

Wine and beer adverts are banned entirely on billboards, and spirits cannot be advertised on television, radio or outdoors. Alcohol sponsorship was almost entirely prohibited in 2014.

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

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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), ‘Velvet Glove, Iron Fist’ (2009) and Killjoys (2017).


Latvia 2019

Like its neighbours Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia taxes spirits heavily and takes a tough line on alcohol marketing, but its taxes on wine and beer are significantly lower.

Tobacco advertising is illegal in all forms. Cigarette vending machines are prohibited and smoking is banned in all bars, restaurants, casinos and airports except for designated smoking areas. Smoking is banned at public transport stops and within ten metres of government buildings, as well as in parks, squares and playgrounds except designated areas. The ban includes outdoor places within 10 metres of government buildings, public transport stops, apartment stairwells/corridors, balconies, and around children. If someone asks you to stop smoking near them, you must do so by law. The same rule applies to vaping.

E-cigarettes are classified as consumer products and can be sold to anyone over the age of 18, but their use is prohibited wherever smoking is banned. In 2016, the government introduced a €0.01 per ml tax on e-cigarette fluid, plus €0.005 per mg of nicotine, amounting to 90 cents on a standard bottle of 16mg/ml fluid. Heated tobacco is taxed at €66 per kilogram.

Latvia banned the sale of energy drinks to people aged under 18 in June 2016. There are also restrictions on energy drink advertising (it is banned in schools, on children’s television, on public buildings and it cannot be associated with sport). Advertisements must carry a warning about the supposed risks of drinking them. Energy drinks must be displayed separately from other food items in shops.

In May 2016, new limits on trans fats were introduced (2g per 100g of total fat content). Sweetened soft drinks, including those with zero calories, are taxed at €0.074 per litre.

Wine and beer adverts are banned entirely on billboards, and spirits cannot be advertised on television, radio or outdoors. Alcohol sponsorship was almost entirely prohibited in 2014.

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