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VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis bans cigarettes sales

13 Nov 2017. The Pope has banned the sale of cigarettes to employees at the Vatican, effective as of 2018, the Holy See Press Office said in a statement.

World Health Organisation statistics were behind the Pope’s decision to end the practice of reduced price cigarette sales to state employees which has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, Press Office Director Greg Burke said.

"The Holy Father has decided that the Vatican will cease to cell [sic] cigarettes to employees as of 2018. The reason is very simple: the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people. According to the World Health Organisation, every year smoking is the cause of more than seven million deaths throughout the world,” Burke said in a statement to journalists regarding the Pope’s decision.

“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,” he said.

Cigars will reportedly be exempt from the ban, as their smoke in not inhaled.