More than 44,000 people live in deprived areas of Northampton, according to a new health report.
The Health Profile 2013 said deprivation in the town was higher than the average for England, with 44,330 people living in areas labelled the most deprived.
Areas singled out included parts of the Eastern District, Spring Boroughs and parts of Far Cotton and Briar Hill.
The report also said there were 9,200 children in Northampton living in poverty, meaning their families received means-tested benefits and had low incomes.
Peter Barker, a public health consultant at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Deprivation and poverty are still worrying factors, particularly as some of the Government cuts made in 2013 are yet to bite.
“Some families don’t have enough money and their backs are to the wall.”
Mr Barker said one of the most concerning figures to come from the report was the fact life expectancy rates for both men and women were lower than the England average. Life expectancy is also 10.5 years lower for men and 6.4 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Northampton than in the least deprived areas of the town.
Mr Barker said: “One of the major drivers of life expectancy, the age children today are predicted to live to, will almost certainly be smoking.
“The levels of that are still far too high in this county and in Northampton.
“This is partly a historical thing, because people will smoke because their parents did.
“But some of it will be a sense of fatalism.
“They enjoy it and they don’t believe it truly impacts on their health.
“In a sentence, they think ‘health isn’t really a priority for us, our backs are against the wall just surviving life’.”
“Unfortunately, in these economic times, many people won’t feel like quitting smoking or other comforting habits.”
The NHS and public health workers are battling to bring down levels of smoking.
In the last week, the NHS launched its Stoptober campaign in Northampton’s Grosvenor Centre.
The Northamptonshire NHS Stop Smoking Service is urging those thinking of quitting to book into a free one-to-one clinic in order to make a supported ‘quit attempt’ with an NHS specialist. Evidence shows that joining a clinic gives a four times better chance of quitting for good compared to going it alone.
To book into a clinic, call the helpline on 0845 601 3116.