Public health

Pope puts an end to the Holy Smoke

The Pope is doing his part to ban smoking, by ending one of the less healthy perks of Vatican life – cheap cigarettes.

Selling tax free tobacco to employees and pensioners, has long been a revenue for the tiny Vatican City State. But cigarette sales will be banned from next year, a Vatican spokesman announced last week.

“The Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people,” the spokesman, Greg Burke, said in a statement. The sales had been profitable for the Vatican, he said, but “no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk.”

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