The UK has seen a rising tide of lifestyle regulations in recent years. Its smoking ban, introduced in 2007, allows fewer exemptions than that of almost any other country and was extended to cars carrying passengers under the age of 18 in 2015
(2016 in Scotland). In 2008, Britain became the first EU country to mandate graphic warnings on cigarettes and cigarette vending machines were banned in 2011. A full retail display ban followed in 2015. In May 2016, the UK and France became the
first European countries to ban branding on tobacco products ('plain packaging') in May 2016.
The UK has some particularly punitive sin taxes. It has the highest taxes on cigarettes and wine in the EU and the second highest taxes on beer. There are relatively few legal limits on where alcohol can be advertised but there are strict
guidelines on content. Off trade alcohol discount deals such as buy-one-get-one-free are banned in Scotland.
Anti-smoking policies are now being rolled out to food and soft drinks. A ban on 'junk food' advertising to children was extended to digital media in December 2016 and a UK-wide tax on sugary drinks is expected to be implemented in 2018. There
is a ban on sugary drinks in Scottish hospitals and both the Scottish and Welsh governments support minimum pricing for alcohol. Britain's Nanny State Index score for food and soft drinks arguably makes the country seem more liberal than it is
because it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking and food products becoming less tasty as Public Health England pushes food manufacturers towards reducing sugar, salt and fat content. Although
this scheme is technically voluntary, it is backed up with the threat of legislation.