Smoking is on the up in Mansfield and Ashfield

New cigarette laws come into force this month.
New cigarette laws come into force this month.

Smoking is on the up in Mansfield and Ashfield – according to new information released by the Government.

This week’s Office of National Statistics report - Smoking inequalities in England, 2016 - shows that around 6.3 million people aged 18 and over in England smoked in 2016, and that in Mansfield and Ashfield in particular, the percentage of smokers is on the rise.

In Mansfield, 15 per cent of the population smoked in 2015, rising to over 20 per cent in 2016 according to the figures.

Similarly in Ashfield, 17 per cent were classified as smokers in 2015, the lowest since 2012, yet this rose to over 21 per cent in 2016.

Dr Mateen Derrani, Group Medical Advisor and Consultant Psychiatrist at addiction treatment specialists UKAT, said: “Nicotine is what is known as a Gateway Drug.

“It’s a stimulant that releases the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter Dopamine, which in turn, produces physical and mood-altering effects in the brain that are temporarily pleasing.

“In the long-term, stopping smoking causes withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, reduced concentration, increased hunger and at times, anger and disturbed sleep.

“Although the general public does not classify smoking in line with the other drugs associated with addiction, the consequences and effects on health are no different, and in some cases, more lethal.”

80,000 people die from smoking every year, and it is one of the most common causes of heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and various cancers of the throat, mouth and lung.