YEP Says, August 15: Cigarette ban in parks - for the sake of the kids

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Look back at any old pictures, and by ‘old’ we’re talking not-so-bygone - 60s, 70s and 80s, for example - and what do you see?

Look back at any old pictures, and by ‘old’ we’re talking not-so-bygone - 60s, 70s and 80s, for example - and what do you see?

Look harder - something that is now so unusual, so anti-social (some might say), that to note just a matter of years ago it was so commonplace is extraordinary. Got it yet? We are, of course, refe rring to smoking. Time was, not so very long ago, that everyone was at it. It is remarkable to see how quickly and dramatically the zeitgeist has changed. Now medical experts want smoking to be banned outside all British bars and restaurants as well as in pub gardens, parks and at the school gates. The Royal Society for Public Health’s radical proposals come eight years after smoking was made illegal inside pubs, clubs and other public buildings. Against this backdrop, is Leeds city council right to explore a ‘voluntary’ ban on smoking in its 140 playgrounds? We would argue yes. Public opinion has moved a long way in the past decade. In a 2011 survey 96% of both smokers and recent quitters believe that children have a right not to be exposed to second-hand smoke. This isn’t nanny state interference. For wouldn’t any smoker would willingly adhere to such as ban knowing that our children’s health is at the very heart of the reasoning. It’s not about discrimination, it’s about consideration, surely. A subject that causes deep divisions though. Do let us know what you think.

Happy birthday to ‘miracle’ twins

Mum Natalie Foxcroft will tomorrow celebrate the second birthdays of the “miracle” identical twins she thought she would never have. Natalie, 27, suffered four miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies in ten heartbreaking years and in 2013 underwent a life-saving operation to remove her last remaining fallopian tube following a third ectopic pregnancy, which ended all hope of her having another child.

Astonishingly, ten days after the operation, Natalie was told that not only was she still pregnant, but with twins. An incredible story with a wonderful ending. Happy birthday Heidi and Halle.

People attend a multi-faith vigil in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the Manchester terror attack. PIC: PA

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