Why did de Gaulle give up smoking?
Inigo Thomas · 80 a Day
The detail about de Gaulle's wish to stand out on the Champs-Elysées comes from Jean Lacouture's biography of the general. Futher minor details about de Gaulle's habits in Lacouture's book: that he prepared every speech in front of a mirror (note to Gordon Brown), that he drank a bottle of Graves almost every night, and that he smoked 80 cigarettes every day until he returned to France in June 1944, when he suddenly gave up. It's a completely irrelevant question in relation to the big things such as D-Day, the liberation of France, and everything else that was going on at the time – and perhaps only a smoker would ask it – but why did de Gaulle give up smoking in France in June 1944?