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Pope Francis bans sale of cigarettes in Vatican on health grounds

Pope Francis bans sale of cigarettes in Vatican on health grounds”

In a move likely to have some Vatican employees fuming, Pope Francis has chose to ban the sale of cigarettes inside the City State on the grounds that the Holy See can not profit from a proven health hazard.

Duty free tobacco is available inside the Vatican at a discount for employees and residents as they duck Italy's stringent taxes.

A seagull flies over the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, where black smoke billowing from, l during the second day of the Vatican conclave, Tuesday, April 19, 2005.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, "However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives".

"The motive is very simple: the Holy See can not be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people", spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

However, citing numbers from the World Health Organization, Burke noted how each year some 7 million people throughout the world die due to smoking-related causes.

Spokesman Greg Burke said "people enjoyed it as sort of a fringe benefit".

Employees and pensioners are also permitted to purchase buy five cartons of cigarettes every month from a duty-free shop but it is only open for those with special pass.

Pope Francis has moved Pope John Paul I — the pope who reigned for only 33 days in 1978 — a step closer to possible sainthood just days after the Vatican endorsed a new book debunking decades of conspiracy theories about his sudden death.



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