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).

Lithuania 2017

Attitudes towards alcohol regulation in Lithuania have toughened in recent years. While there is no mandated closing time for bars, alcoholic beverages can only be sold between 8am and 10pm in shops. 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. There have also been proposals to ban alcohol sales at commercial events, such as music festivals and theatrical productions.

Regulation of alcohol advertising is very strict. Spirits advertising is banned outdoors and no alcohol commercials can be broadcast before 11pm. A wider ban on alcohol marketing in the media and online has been proposed but not passed. The sale of alcohol at petrol stations was banned in January 2016. From 1st November 2016, various alcohol promotions, including prizes, coupons, gifts, free samples and discount campaigns were banned. Advertising of price reductions was also banned.

Smoking is banned in most indoor public places and on parts of some beaches. Some municipalities declare certain public places, such as town squares or bus stops, smoke-free zones.

E-cigarettes are subject to the same restrictions as other tobacco products. Vaping is banned in places where smoking is banned and cross-border sales of e-cigarettes and nicotine fluids are prohibited.

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.

With thanks to the Lithuanian Free Market Institute