Welcome to the Nanny State — 3 Comments

  1. I find it odd that Greece is ranked at number six, given that (despite the actual laws) you can smoke just about anywhere, you can buy booze anytime day or night, and pretty much anybody can sell it – cafés, bars, local shops, kiosks, uncle Tom Cobley and all. When I opened a bar here, there was no problems about getting the licence to sell alcohol apart from the usual bureaucracy that applies to any business, whatever it is. Taxes on tobacco and alcohol have risen sharply, but not as a deterrent from consumption, more because the government is broke and are raising taxes on everything they think they can get away with. Naturally, booze and fags are a soft touch on that level. Tobacco is still half the price they pay in UK (my Golden Virginia works out at €23 per 100g – from what I understand both UK and Ireland pay that much for 50g). But in terms of nanny statism, I would have put Greece way down near the bottom of that list.

    • Do I detect a touch of envy at Ireland's illustrious position?

      Taxes on alcohol and tobacco will always be popular as revenue sources as they are the ultimate "sin tax".  Argue against the and you wil be seen to be pro-vice and anti-health.  I saw a comment somewhere today saying that the nanny state was a terrible thing but he did agree that tobacco should be heavily taxed because smoking is "disgusting".  I was tempted to reply – "wait 'til they find your little pleasures, Sunshine!"

    • Nika, On one of the explanatory pages, they explain that the index is based purely on the "national legislation" position and doesn't take into account how well enforced or otherwise the legislation is, because that was much harder to quantify with certainty.  I, too, after reading many of your comments, was surprised to see Greece near the top.  But this is (I understand) an ongoing project, so maybe in a later version they'll "factor in" how strictly (or otherwise) the regulations are enforced.  They might also, I guess, include the levels of illegal produce purchased in comparison to the legal variety – if they can get an accurate number of people to admit to having "alternative sources," I guess!

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