Tuesday July 23, 2019

Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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53% Smokers Belong to the Age Group of 20-30 Years, Reveals Survey

India is one of those countries reeling under a huge burden of high mortality and morbidity linked with tobacco addiction

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E-cigarettes, Smokers
A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

A whopping 53 per cent of smokers belong to the age group of 20 to 30 years, a survey has revealed, adding most of them resort to smoking to cope with stress.

According to the survey conducted by Aviss Foundation, every third person in the age group of 15-50 years was addicted to smoking.

“Of all the respondents, which were between the age group of 15 to 50 years, a whopping 33 per cent admitted to smoking addiction,” it said.

The survey revealed that youths took to smoking to beat the stress.

tobacco prodcuts, excise duty
Hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes. Pixabay

“According to the survey figures, 56 per cent thought that smoking helped them get relief from stress while 55 per cent of them admitted that they are aware of its ill-effects and were anxious about their health but continue to smoke anyway. Apart from this, 55 per cent had tried to quit smoking but failed, underlying the strong addictive nature of smoking leading to difficulties in giving up,” it added.

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India is one of those countries reeling under a huge burden of high mortality and morbidity linked with tobacco addiction. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India is home to 12 per cent of the world’s smokers.

“While government policies in India have always been designed carefully around the targeted awareness programmes, the survey figures indicate that it’s time to sit up and fine-tune our strategies to address the issue more effectively,” said Aviss Foundation head Prerana Garg. (IANS)