Just in case you hadn't heard, smoking is bad for you.

From a certain perspective, it doesn't seem as though it needs to be repeated, but given Harford County's increasing rate of lung cancer, and the association of that deadly ailment with inhaling tobacco smoke, it seems like there might be an unusually high number of people in our readership area who are unaware.

Coincidental or otherwise, the report from the Harford County Health Department about the problem of local lung cancer rates increasing, even as statewide rates are declining, came out within days of the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Surgeon General report warning about the ill effects of smoking.

A half a century of warnings, ever increasing cigarette prices and bans on smoking in most public places seem like they should have a bigger effect.


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It's also worth noting that Harford County residents are subjected to another risk factor beyond our local control, namely that we're exposed to some of the worst air quality in the country, often second only to Los Angeles, thanks to a combination of geography and pollution problems.

Still, smoking only adds another risk factor, so quitting is an all around good idea.