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. The 2017 edition of the index was revealed during a full day conference in Brussels and featured high level discussions and debates between MEPs, industry experts, think tankers and regulators about the effects of regulation on health outcomes.

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

Croatia 2017

Croatia takes a tough stance on spirits, tobacco, wine and e-cigarettes, none of which can be advertised in any media. Only beer can be advertised. Tax on spirits is low by EU standards and there is no duty on wine.

Bars in urban areas must close at midnight, but municipal, city or county authorities can issue permission to certain areas where bars can work longer (up to 2 am), or even restrict closing hours earlier than midnight.

A comprehensive smoking ban was repealed in 2009 after damaging the hospitality industry and the current law is relatively liberal by European standards, with exemptions for small bars. Larger premises are allowed to have ventilated smoking rooms. Vaping is not banned indoors. A tax on e-cigarette fluid is expected but is not in place at the time off writing. Croatia is one of only four EU countries to have a tobacco retail display ban.

With thanks to Marina Harapin and the Entrepreneurial Initiative project at the Centre for Public Policy and Economic Analysis