LONDON - The Baltic states are among European Union (EU) members with the toughest regulations restricting consumption of tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food and sweetened beverages, shows the Nanny State Index, released by the Institute of Economic Affairs, UK-based free market think tank.
Based on an assessment of the country’s tax policies and legislation restricting the advertising and sale of these goods, as well as other aspects, Latvia has been ranked seventh in the index with 32.7 points. Lithuania has been ranked second with 38.7 points and Estonia fourth with 37.3 points.
Finland, which has scored 49.5 points out of 100, has emerged as the country with the strictest regulations. Other countries with stricter regulations than Latvia include the UK, Hungary and Ireland.
As far as restrictions on tobacco, alcohol and food are concerned, Germany is the most relaxed EU country, scoring 11.7 points on the Nanny State Index. The Czech Republic with 13.8 points and Austria and Slovakia with 16.9 points each are also at the bottom of the list.
In terms of government regulations aimed at restricting the consumption of unhealthy food and sweetened beverages, Latvia has been raked fourth in the EU, in terms of restrictions on alcohol Latvia is seventh, in terms of restrictions on e-cigarettes Latvia is ninth and in terms of restrictions on tobacco 14th.
Latvia’s ranking on the index has not changed since 2017.