The topic of smoking cigarettes is one of the most contentious issues in modern society. As more and more research is done on the effects that tobacco smoke has on not only the smoker themselves, but also anyone caught in the radius, or even the environment, it's becoming a less common practice.
The medical field has already decried the practice, with many areas being mandated by law to label cigarettes with pictures of what exactly extended periods of smoking will do to the body; browned teeth, cancerous livers, diseased lungs, you name it. Not only that, but more and more countries are forbidding smoking in places like bars and restaurants, where it was once commonplace. Even alternatives like e-cigarettes are being banned.
While plenty of smokers are lamenting this fact and are increasingly furious about having fewer places to smoke, these protests are falling on increasingly-deaf ears. Case and point: the Pope himself has now expressly forbidden cigarettes from being sold in the Vatican.
Effective in 2018, the Pope Francis's decree has stated that the Vatican will cease selling cigarettes within its borders in order to focus on promoting a more healthy lifestyle amongst members of the church.
In an official statement released on Nov. 9, the Vatican stated:
"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. [...] 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."
The statement also made mention of the fact that according to the World Health Organization, cigarettes claim the lives of over 7 Million people per year. Cigarettes will now have to be purchased outside the small state's walls, and without a discount that was previously given to its employees.
What do you think? Is the Pope right to forbid the sale of cigarettes within the Vatican's own borders? Or should its employees be allowed to choose for themselves?