ghp July 2015 | 11 Up in Smoke The ban will include the famous tourist destination Brighton beach, with the council keen to emphasise that the proposed ban is motivated by a desire to protect children from the effects of passive smoking. Daniel Yates, chair of Health and Wellbeing Board was keen to emphasise the positive affect this ban could have on the health of children. ‘The health benefits of smoke free areas and pro- tecting children from second-hand smoke are well established. We’re keen to keep people safe from the effects of smoking in public areas, especially children who are most vulnerable. However we also want to ensure any measures taken have support of residents in the city.’ The council stated that voluntary smoking ban already exists in all 42 of the city’s children’s play- grounds, with the proposed consultation on further enforcement of this set to gauge whether there is wider public support for extending the smoke free areas across the city. The 2013 Household survey showed that smoking in Brighton & Hove is at 25.2%, which is above the average in England of around 18%. The ban proposal highlights the growing public awareness of the health issues around smoking, with campaigns from charities and the govern- ment increasing public knowledge of the dangers of the habit. Dr Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health cited regulations in the US as a potential model for the council’s plans. “Tobacco smoke typically contains over 170 toxins including carcinogens and air pollutants. The bene- fits of smoke-free indoor areas are well established and accepted. Outdoor tobacco smoke dissipates more quickly than indoor smoke, but in certain con- centrations and weather conditions it still poses an additional health risk to non-smokers. Several States in the US have adopted legislation to limit outdoor smoking in certain settings such as cafés, parks and places where there are children playing. The time is right to have the debate in Brighton & Hove as to whether we wish the same here.” Brighton and Hove City Council have proposed to ban smoking from external public areas in a bid to lower the risk of passive smoking related health problems. Investigation into Pricing-Fixing of Generic Drugs The Department of Justice believes price-fixing between makers of generic pharmaceuticals is widespread according to PaRR. The legal intelligence firm has published concerns from the Department of Justice that the investigation due to be conducted into the matter is being hindered by pharmaceutical firms, with none applying for amnesty, which could potentially mean that companies have not found enough evidence in their own inter- nal investigations to warrant cooperation with the government. However, according to PaRR their source states that the Department of Justice believes this to be simply a case of ‘bad lawyering’. The investigation into generic drug pricing has been in operation for a year already but some of the manufacturers under investigation are still yet to retain antitrust counsel. PaRR claims to have been in communica- tion with ‘a half dozen attorneys who are still seeking to retain corporate or individual clients in the generic pharmaceutical industry, a fact they said is unusual given the length of the ongoing investigation.’ The source for PaRR also claims that the department believes that this investigation could potentially be its largest to date, owing to the vast number of different generic drugs in the market. The investigation is believed to have originated from a congressional inquiry into the same issues and extensive media coverage of rapidly increasing generic drug prices. In January 2014, the National Community Pharmacists Association sent letters to congressional committees requesting hearings on the matter. In October of the same year, Senator Bernie Sanders, alongside US Representative Elijah E. Cummings, launched an investigation request- ing information from 14 generic drug compa- nies on pricing issues relating to a variety of products. A hearing was held in November. The investigation served Lannett, a Del- aware-based generic drugs firm, with a subpoena in November of last year ‘relating to a federal investigation of the generic pharma- ceutical industry into possible violations of the Sherman Act’. Any ruling in this case has the potential to drastically alter the way in which the Amer- ican pharmaceuticals market operates and could lead to tighter controls on the sale of generic drugs.