Vatican Halting Cigarette Sales
Citing World World Health Organization statistics that smoking causes more than 7 million deaths worldwide every year, the Vatican said in a statement that cigarettes will not be sold there as of the start of 2018. Large cigars will continue to be sold, however.
The Vatican announced Nov. 9 it will stop selling cigarettes to employees in its duty-free shop and supermarket — giving up an estimated 10 million euros ($11 million) per year in profit from cigarette sales.
Vatican Radio reported that Pope Francis made the decision. A statement released by Greg Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office, explained that the Holy See "cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people."
Citing World World Health Organization statistics that smoking causes more than 7 million deaths worldwide every year, he said in the statement that cigarettes will not be sold at the Vatican as of the start of 2018. "Although the cigarettes sold to employees and pensioners in the Vatican at a reduced price are a source of revenue for the Holy See, no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk," the statement said.
Burke said large cigars will continue to be sold for the time being because their smoke is not inhaled.