The 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, arguably the most recognized figure across the globe, has made headlines with a recent decision concerning cigarettes.
Earlier today, Pope Francis, a linguist who used to be a bouncer during his youth, believe it or not, voiced his staunch opposition to cigarettes by condemning the product which causes more than 7 million deaths annually around the globe and announced that the Vatican would no longer sell cigarettes to employees in its duty-free shops and supermarket— giving up an estimated $11 million a year in profit.
According to the Vatican, Francis made the decision because—
“… the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people. No profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk.”
Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy. And since Vatican City adheres to Italian law, those who live under the monarchy are subject to the same 22 percent sales tax on goods as the residents of Italy.
Previously, those who classify as Vatican employees, retirees and residents, accredited diplomats and members of religious congregations have been able to use their entitled “commercial card(s)” which allows them to purchase their weekly groceries, Cuban cigars, flat-screen TVs, fine wines and many other sought-after goods- all duty-free.
Cigarettes will no longer be one of these desired goods.
According to a 2015 book based on leaked Vatican documents, the sale of cigarettes, before the Pope’s ban, was the second-most important source of income after tax-free gas sales.
Perhaps the Pope will consider replacing all those cigarettes with some Mt Baker Vapor E juice.
A portion of this information in this post was sourced from the New York Post.
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