Holy Smoke! Vatican bans sale of cigarettes

Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican, beginning next year.

The step will cost Vatican an estimated 10 million euros ($11 million) a year.

Pope Francis made the decision because “the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people,” the Vatican said.

Cigarettes are about 50 cents (45p) cheaper per packet in Vatican City compared to Italy, due to a lack of sales tax.

About 5,000 employees and retired staff of the Vatican are currently allowed to buy discounted cigarettes.