The think tank EPICENTER last week launched the European Parliament edition of the Nanny State Index 2018. The index looks at votes by EU politicians on taxes and regulation related to tobacco and other products.
Results presented show that the MEP delegations of some of the more interventionist governments such as the UK, Hungary and Poland were among the least likely to support consumer regulations at the EU level. Conversely, Germany and Luxembourg are examples of countries with a liberal attitude domestically but whose MEPs tend to be quite moderate in their voting patterns.
One of the key findings of the report was that the most heavy-handed countries do not perform better in terms of health outcomes than countries such as Germany and Luxembourg, who have only modest taxes on tobacco and treat smokers with more tolerance.
ESTA Secretary General Peter van der Mark said: “This Index highlights just how misguided paternalistic regulations can be. As well as treating adults like children, such regulations do not even achieve their stated objective. It is essential that the EU and Member States refocus political debates around informed facts and not fear-mongering. Scientific evidence is the only legitimate basis for policy making.”