Two years after banning cigarettes, Vatican finally shuts down

VATICAN CITY—After surviving two whole years without cigarette sales, Vatican City at last closed its doors today after declaring bankruptcy. 

Pope Francis banned the sale of cigarettes in November 2017, with the ban going into effect at the end of 2018. Though the health community praised the move, economists predicted the ban would destroy the Vatican’s cigarette-based economy. 

“Cigarette sales made up 98% of Vatican City’s GDP,” Reagan Institute economist Martin Fredude told us. “The other 2% was those little old ladies selling cheap Rosaries on the street corner. You can’t keep a country’s economy running for too long on just those, though.”

The international community was surprised that the tiny nation survived as long as it did, assuming that the Holy See wouldn’t have the reserves to keep running a deficit for so long. But despite an impressive showing, it became obvious that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was too much for the weakened economy. 

“We’re shutting down, I’m afraid,” a gloomy-looking Pope Francis told reporters as he unrolled comically large caution tape over St. Peter’s Basilica. “I expect the bank to come by and take the keys this afternoon.”

Originally posted Apr 1, 2020