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).
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).
Latvia takes a tough line on alcohol advertising and sponsorship. Wine and beer adverts are banned entirely on billboards, and spirits cannot be advertised on television, radio or outdoors. As of 2014, alcohol sponsorship is almost entirely prohibited. Tobacco advertising is also illegal in all forms. Cigarette vending machines are prohibited and tobacco products carry large graphic warnings.
Smoking and vaping are both banned in all bars and restaurants. E-cigarettes are classified as consumer products and can be sold to anyone over the age of 18. A ban on the sale of energy drinks to people under the age of 18 is expected to come into effect in 2016.