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.
Download the pdf here.
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).
Luxembourg’s partial ban on smoking means that smoking is permitted in designated smoking rooms and in licensed cigar bars. There is no retail display ban for tobacco, nor is there a vending machine ban. Restrictions on alcohol advertising are relatively trivial.
E-cigarettes are legal to advertise, buy and use. However, as part of its process of implementing the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive, the government applied the same rules to vaping indoors and e-cigarette advertising as it applies to tobacco (ie. a partial ban and a near-total ban, respectively). Cross-border e-cigarette sales are illegal.
Taxes on beer and spirits are low and seem even lower when the country’s unusually high GDP is taken into account. There is no wine duty. Tobacco taxes are average in nominal terms but are low relative to average incomes. There are no nanny state policies for food and soft drinks.
With thanks to Bill Wirtz, European Students for Liberty.