Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 18:34 UK

MSPs pass under-18 sunbed ban

Man lying on a sunbed
The legislation came before MSPs at parliament

New laws banning under-18s from using sunbeds have been passed by MSPs at Holyrood.

Ministers said the move would underline the dangers of their use - but some operators say the legislation is unnecessary.

Salons in Scotland will face a 100 fine if they are caught letting people younger than 18 use sunbeds.

Public health minister, Shona Robison said the provisions "will put us ahead of the rest of the UK".

She added: "This is about adults being given information to make an informed and educated choice and children being fundamentally protected.

We are taking charge of our own health - we are accepting responsibility and rising to the challenges we face
Ken McIntosh
Labour MSP

Ms Robison did not rule out a future licensing regime for sunbed salons and said ministers would look again at this after having had time to assess the evidence.

The sunbed measures were put forward by Labour Eastwood MSP Ken McIntosh, who said Scotland had been hit by a skin cancer epidemic.

He said: "We are taking charge of our own health - we are accepting responsibility and rising to the challenges we face."

Tory health spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said this "should be a catalyst for further training and awareness raising".

Liberal Democrat Ross Finnie said: "It's a very important contribution to health in relation to the problems of skin cancer."

Quarantine power

The legislation would also see salons hit with a 50 fine if they are caught operating unstaffed, coin-operated tanning facilities.

But some operators said there was no evidence of sunbeds being abused and that parlours were not responsible for an increase in skin cancer.

Consol Suncenter, which operates more than 20 unstaffed premises, said there was a greater risk of children developing cancer on a foreign holiday and CCTV monitoring of premises indicated no children were using them.

The Public Heath Bill will also extend current laws to include action for protection against biological, chemical and radiological contamination, including more powers of quarantine. The responsibility of health boards to provide mortuaries would also be placed on a statutory footing.

Vote to ban coin-operated sunbeds
21 May 08 |  Scotland
Sunbeds 'are not safe' MSPs told
14 May 08 |  Scotland
Sunbed plans lodged with Holyrood
30 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Sunbed bill 'backed by most MSPs'
27 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Tanning salon 'regulation' calls
16 Oct 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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