Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic has been ranked as the second “freest” and most liberal country in Europe to drink, eat and smoke, according to a recent study.
The Nanny State Index is a bi-annual ranking looking at the “best and worst places” in Europe “to eat, drink, smoke and vape”.
Created in 2016 by Christopher Snowdon, head of Lifestyle Economics at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), its self-evident purpose is to push for the wider loosening and deregulation as possible of state rules on the advertising, promotion, sale and taxation of such products.
Ranked second in the 2021 edition, the Czech Republic secures the same spot as two years ago, bested only by Germany, crowned for the second time in a row as the best European destination for all the hearty bons vivants out there.
“Czechia’s reputation as a haven of liberty took a knock in May 2017 when an extensive smoking ban came into effect,” the authors of the study write. They nevertheless point that the “beer-drinkers’ paradise” that is the Czech Republic remains one of the most liberal countries on the continent for the consumption of alcohol, e-cigarettes, food and soft drinks.
The two neighbours are followed by Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Slovakia – the latter losing four spots compared to the 2019 edition due, according to the report, to the introduction of several “sin taxes” on tobacco, cigarettes, beer and spirits.
The bottom three is made up of Norway (“a country with a long history of nanny state regulation”, the index reads), Lithuania and Finland.