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).
Attitudes towards alcohol regulation in Lithuania have toughened in recent years. While there is no legal closing time requirement for bars, shopping hours for alcohol are regulated and alcoholic beverages can only be sold between 8am and 10pm. The possibility of limiting alcohol sales to state owned shops has recently been raised, but there is no evidence of public support for such a proposal.
Regulation of alcohol advertising is also strict. Spirits advertising is banned outdoors and no alcohol commercials can be broadcast before 11pm. Cigarettes can be advertised at point-of-sale only, but there are no requirements on graphic images on cigarette packs.
Smoking is banned in most indoor public places and in certain beach areas. Some municipalities declare certain public places such as town squares or bus stops smoking free zones.
E-cigarettes are subject to the same restrictions as other tobacco products.
A ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-18s came into effect in January 2015 and the advertising of energy drinks is banned in educational institutions, concert or sports venues, theatres, cinemas and in any media aimed at children.