opinion: Don’t start smoking

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Most people know by now that one of the very best things you can do for your health is to quit smoking. And even better for your health is to never start in the first place! 
With the shocking figures that emerged recently showing Sheffield has an awfully high number of people dying from cancer, you’d hope that message was getting through. 
So it is with even greater dismay that we read that nearly 2,000 children aged between 11 and 15 are taking up the habit. 
It has been suggested that part of the reason for the high incidences of cancer in the city is our industrial past. 
Well, we can’t do anything about the past, we can only look to the future. 
And while it’s absolutely correct that people are encouraged to take more exercise and to eat more healthily, the number one message that should be going out is that to start smoking, at any age, is sheer stupidity. 
But this message is not getting across to our youngsters. 
If you’re a parent who smokes in front of your kids, you need to be asking yourself whether the example you’re setting for them is likely to lead them to become addicted when they’re old enough to get hold of cigarettes themselves.

Room for two arenas

Is there room in Sheffield and Leeds for two top billing arenas? That is the question people are asking as the new Leeds arena prepares to officially open with Elton John and our Motorpoint venue is on the verge of completing its multi-million pound revamp. Managers at the Motorpoint are bullish about their propsects - and why shouldn’t they be. They have struck just at the right time with the decision to invest in the arena and give it a facelift - one it really needed. The new Leeds arena will have its honeymoon period and will also attract bands that Sheffield will not be able to lure to the city. But these are business people who will have done their sums. We can play our part in making sure it is a success by choosing Sheffield.