Gambling with baby’s health

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DESPITE all the warnings and all the campaigns, pregnant women are still smoking.

Astonishing isn’t it? How can it be that one in seven mothers gamble on their unborn baby’s health?

Do they care so little for the infant that they cannot make a personal sacrifice? The statistic is part of a gloomy report into the cost of smoking.

Not only does it hit the addict in the pocket, it hits the city in sick days and smoking breaks.

The cost to Sheffield of smokers being off or taking cigarette breaks is £67 million a year.

The message is simple - don’t start smoking, it simply isn’t worth it.

Lesson saves life

YOU’VE spent a frightening proportion of your hard-earned on a shiny motor and you want to get the best out of it. In a modern car 30mph feels like walking pace, doesn’t it?

You have to keep an eye out for speed cameras, but they’re just another tax on motorists, your mates say.

Motoring is not a game. Speed limits are there to protect us. The penalty for speeding can be death - not necessarily the driver’s. Too often an innocent pedestrian or other road-user pays the ultimate price for a driver’s folly.

That’s why speed awareness courses are a brilliant idea. Educating motorists, rather than imposing a punishment that will only breed resentment.

So far 57,000 South Yorkshire motorists have taken advantage of the opportunity to become safer drivers. It is an opportunity, not a penalty. It is right that this should be non-profit-making.

We all slip sometimes, when we’re in a rush. Better a short, sharp lesson in the classroom than a lifetime of guilt.

Our leading ladies

IN THESE celebrity-obsessed times when girls are led to believe they can become famous for simply being on a reality TV show it’s gratifying to see that South Yorkshire has some real female role models.

A celebration event is being held to mark the fact that five of the most significant posts in the county are held by women for the first time.

The leading ladies will take to Sheffield Hallam University’s Pennine Theatre stage on Wednesday, January 25, to talk about their key positions in the city and what barriers they have overcome to achieve success in their fields.

Hopefully, the story of how these famous five got to their positions of importance in Sheffield and South Yorkshire will serve as as an inspiration and help more women break through the so-called glass ceiling in the years to come.