November 9, 2017. Press Secretary Clears the Air on Inquiries
Vatican Press Secretary Greg Burke, having received questions for curious journalists, issued a statement November 9, 2017, affirming that the Holy Father has directed an end to cigarette sales to Vatican employees starting in 2018.
Greg Burke’s statement:
The Holy Father has decided that the Vatican will cease to sell 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 Organization, every year smoking is the cause of more than seven million deaths throughout the world.
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.