Malta is not a great country for drinkers, smokers or vapers, at least in theory. It was one of the first countries in the world to ban smoking indoors (in 2004) and the legislation was toughened up in 2013 to make it among Europe’s most draconian ‘smoke-free’ laws. In practice, the ban is widely ignored except in restaurants. Smoking (and vaping) in cars with passengers aged under 18 was banned in January 2017 with fines of €50.

Alcohol commercials cannot be broadcast before 9pm and there is a total ban on tobacco and e-cigarette advertising. There is no excise tax on vape juice and cross-border sales of e-cigarettes are legal.

Vaping is relatively common in Malta, but there has been confusion about whether e-cigarettes, which are regulated as tobacco products on the island, are banned in public places. Some health groups have claimed that they are but, in 2015, a woman who had been fined €233 for vaping in an enclosed place had her conviction overturned on appeal. The court confirmed that the smoking ban only applies to tobacco products, not e-cigarettes.

Tobacco duty is high but taxes on beer and spirits are about average for an EU country. A tax on wine was introduced for the first time in 2015, at a rate of €0.15 per bottle. In 2018, Malta reduced its drink-driving limit to the EU average of 0.05g of alcohol per litre of blood. It is one of only two EU countries to have a prohibition on heat-not-burn tobacco products.

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).


Malta 2019

Malta is not a great country for drinkers, smokers or vapers, at least in theory. It was one of the first countries in the world to ban smoking indoors (in 2004) and the legislation was toughened up in 2013 to make it among Europe’s most draconian ‘smoke-free’ laws. In practice, the ban is widely ignored except in restaurants. Smoking (and vaping) in cars with passengers aged under 18 was banned in January 2017 with fines of €50.

Alcohol commercials cannot be broadcast before 9pm and there is a total ban on tobacco and e-cigarette advertising. There is no excise tax on vape juice and cross-border sales of e-cigarettes are legal.

Vaping is relatively common in Malta, but there has been confusion about whether e-cigarettes, which are regulated as tobacco products on the island, are banned in public places. Some health groups have claimed that they are but, in 2015, a woman who had been fined €233 for vaping in an enclosed place had her conviction overturned on appeal. The court confirmed that the smoking ban only applies to tobacco products, not e-cigarettes.

Tobacco duty is high but taxes on beer and spirits are about average for an EU country. A tax on wine was introduced for the first time in 2015, at a rate of €0.15 per bottle. In 2018, Malta reduced its drink-driving limit to the EU average of 0.05g of alcohol per litre of blood. It is one of only two EU countries to have a prohibition on heat-not-burn tobacco products.

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