Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “Behind the Walls III:”
As an independent state, Vatican City has certain prerogatives with respect to Italy. For instance, in time of war Vatican citizens and personnel are given access across Italian territory. The Vatican is exempt from customs regulations, a privilege that has sometimes been abused. After the end of World War II, visitors to Vatican City began picking up cartons of American cigarettes there, taking them into Italy, where American cigarettes were hard to find, and selling them for double what they paid. As much as this rankled officials of the Italian government (which has a state monopoly on the sale of tobacco), nothing could be done. Or can be done, for the practice continues even to this day—in spite of the fact that the Vatican now rations tobacco and other items, like liquor, which sell at higher prices in Rome.