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).

Enquiries: info@epicenternetwork.eu


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).


23rd 8th 26th 12th Final score // 18th

Alcohol can only be advertised on TV and radio after 7pm in Portugal, but drinks marketing is otherwise unrestricted. Taxes on beer and spirits are about average for the EU and there is no wine duty. Tobacco can only be promoted at point of sale but there is no display ban, no vending machine ban and no graphic warnings.

Portugal is gradually moving towards a full ban on smoking in indoor public places. For the time being, however, a relatively relaxed approach endures and there are many exemptions. However, in venues where smoking is banned it is also illegal to vape. As of January 1st 2016, e-cigarette advertising is regulated to fulfil Portugal’s obligations under the EU’s new Tobacco Products Directive, ie. it is banned in most forms. Vapers also have to pay a special tax on e-cigarette fluid of €0.60 per millilitre.

There is a legal limit on the amount of salt that can be used in bread.