Today sees the publication of the Nanny State Index, now in its fourth edition. Launched in 2016, it looks at the over-regulation of food, soft drinks, vaping, tobacco and alcohol in thirty European countries. Since the last edition was published in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has led governments around the world to impose coercive controls on an almost unprecedented scale.
The index does not include anti-Covid policies that are expected to be a genuinely temporary response to the pandemic, but the outlook is bleak nonetheless. Almost without exception, governments across Europe are adopting higher sin taxes and more prohibitions.