No under 18’s for the sunbed please

ID PLEASE!

Under 18s to be banned from using sunbeds

The government is backing a Private Member’s Bill that will call for tanning salons to ban under 18s from using sunbeds.

Research has clearly shown that sunbeds do increase the risks of skin cancer. A report commissioned by the government and undertaken by Cancer Research UK last year, found that using sunbeds under the age of 35 increases your risk of skin cancer by a staggering 75%, and having a monthly session increases your risk by 50%. The report also suggested that 6% of young people aged 5-17 had used a sunbed and this figure increased to 11% in the North of England.

This is a problem we can no longer ignore; cases of skin cancer have increased, with 100 deaths a year directly linked to sunbed use and children younger than ever before are using sunbeds on a regular basis. The problem seems to be worse in the North of England, where poor body image seems to be the cause.

The Bill was introduced by Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan and Cancer Research UK, with Health Secretary Andy Burnham in full support. Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts is also backing the Bill, and is currently making a documentary on the dangers of tanning. Hopefully, it will become law before the next general election; that under 18s are banned from using sunbeds, and that unmanned tanning salons should be made illegal. This has already happened in Scotland where legislation was passed in December 2009.

Celebrity trends are thought to be a major factor in influencing that “you’ve been tango’d” look that is prominent on the High Street, with stars like Jordan leading the trend. Although many celebs claim to fake tan rather than use sunbeds, this message obviously isn’t getting through to people as sunbed use (or should I say abuse?) is still very high.

Hopefully, what with the Vampire fascination at an all time high, the pale and interesting look will prevail; a beautiful English Rose complexion with full red lips is a picture of beauty, and one that will retain a more youthful appearance in years to come. This is much the opposite of the tanorexic that insists on burning their skin over and over again, encouraging wrinkles and risking their health, for what they believe makes them look more attractive.

If you still want to look tanned, then sunbeds are not your only option; there are so many fake tans on the market, it will not take long to find out what suits you. Gone are the days that fake tans are a streaky orange and smell of digestive biscuits; you can now choose from a range of colours, aromas and whether it comes in the form of a lotion, mousse or spray.

I too, fully support the banning of under 18s in tanning salons, and hope that legislation is passed to ban unmanned tanning salons. Health risks are far too high to just sit back and do nothing.

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