PARDON ME IF I (STILL) SMOKE

FOR SOME, IT'S A BADGE OF HONOR--A REFUSAL TO GIVE IN

So the deal has been done, for now at least. The lawyers have capped their Mont Blanc pens and shut their $3,000 Italian-leather attaches. The state attorneys general have returned to their paneled offices to watch, over and over again, the tapes of their performances on the local news. And the tobacco executives now daydream--the stock price has held up!--of a peaceful retirement clipping bond coupons in Boca Raton, Fla.

What we face in the new tobacco agreement, incomplete though it may be, is an instance of the "Stalingrad dilemma," a term coined from that brutal battle in which the armies...

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