Recently, the European Policy information Centre (EPICENTER) published its latest Nanny State Index  update and the results rank the UK in second place for EU ‘sin taxes’.

The Nanny State Index takes into account regulation and taxation of lifestyle products and activities which include alcohol, tobacco, food and indeed e-cigarettes. The publishers of this index then weight these factors and rank the EU countries in what they are calling:

“a league table of the worst places in the European Union to eat, drink, smoke and vape”.

Finland convincingly top the Index and  are followed by the UK in second and Ireland in third. With Public Health England stating that e-cigarettes are 95% healthier than smoking and a recent long term study showing that vaping is far safer than smoking it may seem unfair that e-cigarettes are classed as a ‘sin tax’ but nevertheless let’s see how this factor has affected the UK’s ranking.

EPICENTER published the following table which shows how each of the EU country’s ranking is broken down.

Nanny state index 2017Image courtesy of

As you can see, while the UK rank highly overall their e-cig weighting is one of the lowest out of the group. In fact, according to EPICENTER, the UK is the second freest nation in the EU to vape beaten only by Sweden.

Image courtesy of

Judging by the individual categories, the UK’s overall ranking in the is clearly swayed by the Tobacco category, where the results sit the UK firmly at the top of the table. The Index doesn’t make pretty reading for junk food and alcohol consumers either with the UK featuring in the top 4 of both these sectors.

So, when you read that ‘UK are in the top 3 EU countries for ‘Sin Taxes’ which include e-cigarettes’ it is actually not as bad as it seems for us UK vapers. However, for those of you Britons who like to tuck into a tub of ice cream with a glass of wine and cigarette in hand, you will unfortunately have to deal with the high taxes, lack of promotion and strict regulation.

With the current lack of political certainty throughout the UK amid Brexit and the snap election, who knows what will happen over the coming months but what do you think of the current ‘sin taxes’ in the UK and should they be amended in the future?