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Sunbed Ban: Government Backs Private Member's Bill

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The Government has announced it's in favour of a ban on tanning salons allowing under 18s use sunbeds.

A Private Member's Bill imposing a sunbed ban, introduced by Julie Morgan MP, will have its second reading in the House of Commons later this month.

"The scientific evidence is clear," said Health Secretary Andy Burnham.  "Sunbeds increase your risk of getting skin cancer.  It is far too easy for young people to use sunbeds and I am determined to take action to protect them.  I fully support this Bill which will force tanning salons to ban access for people under 18 years old."

The move comes after a Cancer Research UK report, commissioned by the Government and published in November last year, showed worrying levels of sunbed use amongst under 18s.

The report showed that:

  • Overall, 6% of children aged 11-17 years in England said that they had used a sunbed;
  • There was significant variation across the regions: in the North 11% of children have used a sunbed compared with 4.2% in the Midlands and South of the country; &
  • In a study of six major cities in the UK, sunbed use among 11-17 year olds was significantly higher in Liverpool (20%) and Sunderland (18%) than in four other cities combined.

Actress Gemma Merna, who plays Carmel Valentine in Channel 4's Hollyoaks, also supports a ban.

Speaking about the dangers of sunbeds she said: "I started to use sunbeds once or twice a week with my friends when I was 15 but never realised the risks that I was putting my skin through just to get the perfect tan.  When I was younger I just wanted to look tanned and to fit in with everyone and didn't give any thought to the risks I was taking.  I now realise the damage that sunbeds can do and support any move to ban them to under 18s."

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