Detente Stops at Home

For centuries, the little town of Mauriac (pop. 4,300) nestled in comfortable obscurity amid the hills of central France. Then last March, hordes of inquisitive reporters and tourists in unprecedented numbers descended upon the somber community. Mauriac became front-page news, and an estimated 10 million Frenchmen tuned in for twice-a-day radio and television broadcasts from the center of town. The occasion for all of the hoopla: in one of the largest group efforts to kick the nicotine habit, 155 citizens of Mauriac decided to give up tobacco, cold turkey.* Their effort has been...

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