HR Strange But True!
June 27, 2002

Need ammunition to deal with employees who still gripe about your smoking ban? Look no further than the Vatican.

The Reuters news agency reports that a law approved by Pope John Paul and made public on Thursday will ban smoking in nearly all closed spaces inside the 108-acre city-state as of July 1.

It will be up to the Vatican's tiny police force to carry out enforcement. Violators, including cardinals and archbishops whom the policemen usually greet with a military salute, can be slapped with a fine of 30 euros, which lately converts to $30.

Under the law, "No Smoking" signs must be placed around the Vatican. Since the official language of the Church is Latin, it is not clear if some signs will be in Latin, Reuters reports.

If so, they would read "Vetatur Fumare" (No Smoking) or "Prohibetur Uti Fumo" (the use of smoke is prohibited), speculates Father Reginald Foster, a Latin scholar who translated the Vatican's cash point machines from Italian into the language of ancient Rome.

Because the Pope is the Vatican's supreme monarch, he could - in theory - violate the new law at will, according to Reuters. But he doesn't smoke.

Source: Reuters, via Yahoo!

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