Pope Benedict, Marlboro Man

(First Things) John B. Buescher offers an entertaining history of tobacco use in the Vatican. It turns out that rolled tobacco (cigars and cigarettes) has been especially favored by recent pontiffs (though not the athletic John Paul II):

Pius X took snuff and smoked cigars. Benedict XV did not smoke and did not like others’ smoke. Pius XI smoked an occasional cigar. Pius XII did not smoke. And John XXIII smoked cigarettes.

Paul VI was a non-smoker. So was John Paul I, though Vatican officials appeared to hint—just after his sudden, perplexing death—that his final ill health might be due to heavy smoking.

John Paul II did not smoke, but Pope Benedict XVI reportedly does (or once did), apparently favoring Marlboros. [more]



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