Mansfield is struggling to kick its smoking habit, according to a recent set of health figures which shows more than a quarter of adults in the town are addicted to nicotine.
Statistics from Cancer Research UK’s, The Patient Pathway, shows the town to be well above the national average of 18.4 per cent, with more than 25.8 per cent who are smokers.
In terms of smoking-related deaths, Mansfield also has 332 deaths each year per 100,000 people, which is again over the national average of 290.
In other areas, it was found that Mansfield is lagging in the number of cancer patients who are offered the chance to take part in research.
Just 17.1 per cent of patients are offered the opportunity, with the average sitting at 31 per cent.
The details have angered Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale who has since contacted health officials.
Mr Meale said: “It’s worrying that some areas are lagging behind the averages.
“It’s more than disappointing that the local health services are keying into these failures to act.
“Perhaps worst of all is the percentage of cancer patients locally that said taking part in research hadn’t been discussed with them, lagging behind by an enormous 13 per cent.
“Much more needs to be achieved, early diagnosis figures have to be improved.
“Smoking needs to be tackled more rigorously.”
Dr Khalid Butt, Mansfield GP and member for NHS Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that commissioners have responded to Mr Meale’s concerns and are looking into how they can tackle the problem.
He added: “Smoking-related deaths such as cancer remain a major challenge for large parts of our population, for commissioners and for the whole health community.
“Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable death and we are committed to helping people to give up and to improve early identification of cancer because most cancers can be treatable if they are caught early.”
He said a cancer programme launched by all commissioners in Nottinghamshire in 2014 looked in-depth at data again, to develop a comprehensive understanding of cancer across the county,” added Dr Butt.
“Some proposed actions are now being looked into by all commissioners including extra support for practices in making decisions about cancer referrals to improve early diagnosis.
“We are also looking to review the impact of the recently-revised NICE guidelines for suspected cancers and we continue to work with our partners to raise public awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer and promote the uptake of the cancer screening programmes.
“It is important that smokers have access to as much help as possible to help them give up and we continue to support the New Leaf quit-smoking service.
“It is also equally important that smokers are involved in research and studies which are vital to help organisations to truly understand how best to respond to the needs of smokers who need our support.”