VATICAN CITY – The pope has decided to ban the sale of tobacco in the Vatican City as of next year, a spokesman for the supreme pontiff said on Thursday.
Pope Francis took the decision on the grounds that no benefit derived from the sale of tobacco can be justified if it is costing people their lives.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed to EFE that the pope had decreed that the Vatican should stop the sale of cigarettes to its employees after 2018 for the simple reason that “the Holy See cannot cooperate with a practice that clearly harms the health of people.”
The Vatican spokesman said that according to the World Health Organization, tobacco causes more than seven million deaths a year worldwide.
Until now, employees and pensioners of the Vatican could buy cigarettes at a discount in the supermarket located in the Papal State, which was a source of income for the Holy See.
“However, no benefit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives,” was what the Argentine pontiff had decided, the Vatican’s press office said.