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Pope Francis Takes Stand Against Cigarettes

'No profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2017 6:59 PM CST
Pope Bans Cigarette Sales in Vatican
"The Young Pope" lights up. Meanwhile, the actual pope just banned the sale of cigarettes in the Vatican.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – It turns out salvation wasn't the only thing people were looking to the Vatican for. The New York Times reports many Italians get their cigarettes through acquaintances at the Vatican, where employees and citizens have access to tax-free smokes. But no longer. According to the BBC, Pope Francis has banned the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican beginning next year.

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It's been reported cardinals could buy up to 200 tax-free packs per month, while the Vatican states employees could only get 50, and it's estimated the sale of cigarettes earned the Vatican millions of euros annually. "It comes as a bit of a sacrifice for the Holy See, this was a source of revenue, but it's obviously much more important to do what is right," says Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke, who cites WHO stats showing smoking accounts for more than 7 million global deaths every year. "No profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk," Burke says. (Read more Vatican stories.)

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