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Monday 20 February 2017

Ireland ranks high as a 'nanny state' on alcohol

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Ireland has ranked fourth in a survey of European ‘Nanny States’ when it comes to laws on cigarettes, alcohol and food. Stock Photo: Getty
Ireland has ranked fourth in a survey of European ‘Nanny States’ when it comes to laws on cigarettes, alcohol and food. Stock Photo: Getty

Ireland has ranked fourth in a survey of European 'Nanny States' when it comes to laws on cigarettes, alcohol and food.

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The country has the second most stringent rules on tobacco and is in third place when it comes to drink according to the survey of 28 European Union countries. Only Britain was deemed to have more strict laws on tobacco, while Finland and Sweden topped the league table on tough alcohol rules.

The Nanny State index was compiled by six European think-tanks and was spearheaded by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a UK-based organisation which is reported to have previously accepted funding from a tobacco company.

The survey resulted in "a league table of the worst places in the European Union to eat, drink, smoke and vape".

Its editor Christopher Snowdon said: "Ireland in the last 10 years has really come up as being a sort of leader in nanny state regulations, as has the UK, so I guess the countries are more of less where I would expect them."

He said Ireland was "quite well known" for being increasingly keen to bring in these kinds of public health policies.

"Obviously we're looking at minimum pricing of alcohol, plain packaging tobacco... it was already the first country to bring in a smoking ban. It doesn't surprise me to see it near the top," he added.

The criteria being considered in ranking the countries included taxation polities, advertising rules, laws on vending machines and smoking bans among other items. Ireland was fourth on the overall list behind Finland, Sweden and the UK with the Czech Republic considered the country that was the least like a nanny state.

Irish Independent

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