It was gratifying to us to have seen the timely feature story that appeared on Jan. 15, following our recent news release about newest DHMH Cancer Report data that reflect increased rates of cancer of the lung and bronchus in the County. However, I was delighted to see your editorial, "Still Smoking?" appear as a follow-up in the Friday, Jan. 17, edition of The Aegis.

Your simple, but cleverly worded, message reiterates an obvious, but very critical public health message as to the deadly relationship between tobacco smoking and increased risk of lung cancer. Nevertheless, it also is important to acknowledge that many people who still use tobacco, despite being fully aware of the potentially grave consequences of cancers, heart and lung disease, do so because of the highly addictive nature of nicotine. For those who want to quit, there is help by calling the Harford County Health Department's CRF Tobacco Program at 410-612-1781 for information concerning our cessation classes or by contacting the State of Maryland toll-free Quit-Line at 1-800-QUITNOW.

Aggressive, collaborative initiatives are underway in Harford through public and private partnerships to address tobacco use rates in our county that exceed State averages. Speaking on behalf of Health Officer Susan Kelly, I thank you for bringing even greater awareness of this issue to your readership and for your continuing partnership and support in promoting the health of our community.

Bill Wiseman

Public Information Officer,

Harford County Health Department