New legislation in Northern Ireland will ban under-18s from using tanning salons or buying sunbeds
In a crackdown on sunbed use in Northern Ireland, Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced legislation to stop people under the age of 18 using the tanning devices.
From Tuesday, Councils will be responsible for prosecuting firms found to be permitting sunbed use for under-18s.
‘In Northern Ireland, the incidence of skin cancer cases has been increasing over the past 25 years,’ says Mr Poots.
‘Younger people, under the ages of 18 are particularly at risk as younger skin is more delicate and prone to damage than older skin.’
Skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in Northern Ireland accounting for 28 per cent of all individuals diagnosed with cancer.
The legislation will also ensure over-18s who wish to use sunbeds are provided with information on the serious health risks while sunbed salons will be permitted to display a warning of the risks.
‘Many people think having a tan makes them look healthier and more attractive,’ says Director of Public Health for Northern Ireland Dr Carolyn Harper, who welcomes the legislation.
‘But we know having a tan is actually a sign that our skin is trying to protect itself from UV damage.’