The mainstream media (led by one overzealous blogger in particular) has just now realized that stars smoke cigarettes—witness this NY Daily News trend piece today! So why should we care about this incredibly obvious fact?

As near as we can tell, it's because of a lazy media that takes its story cues from Perez Hilton, of all people. The gossip frequently attacks celebrities for smoking—most notably, Katherine Heigl, and most recently, Salma Hayek. In fact, it's the latter instance that appeared to inspire the Daily News article, which goes on to boldly note that all sorts of celebrities light up:

Teen idol (and frequent smoker) The Hills star Lauren Conrad never appears on her hit reality show with a cigarette - and goes to great lengths to abstain from puffing in public. "She avoids it," says [X-17 owner Frank] Navarre.

Onetime closet smoker Britney Spears now openly flaunts her Marlboro Lights, while Anne Hathaway just admitted she was a smoker for years - before she quit this summer.

And new mom Ashlee Simpson-Wentz was a top-secret smoker who went to great lengths to hide her habit before she became pregnant, even ducking behind a pal when one of our reporters caught her in the act last year.

Much like Perez, the Daily News is weirdly focused only on actresses who smoke, not actors. Surely, they would be able to find just as many male celebrities that light up—and why? Because (in news that may shock anyone who has never set foot in Hollywood or been in a high school drama club), actors smoke. All of them. Yep, even him. And her! In fact, that's probably the least of their vices (we've also heard that they fornicate!).

Don't get us wrong: smoking is grody, and you shouldn't do it. Hell, we have a grandma who died of lung cancer, and that sucks! But why should we care that Katherine Heigl (in particular) lights up? Why is it that if we mention running into Heigl on the street in Los Feliz, a friend will inevitably ask, "Was she smoking?" Yes, she was smoking. She is an actress.

At least the Daily News kind of eventually admits to this reality, in the form of this final quote from X17's Navarre:

"A lot of celebrities smoke - a lot," he said. "Young Hollywood is still a big smoker. The [anti-smoking] campaign has no effect on them."

Yes, no duh. They're also doing cocaine at the wrap parties for their Disney channel television shows. Is this news?

[Photo Credit: X17]