Page last updated at 00:17 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Under-18s face sunbed salons ban

A new law on sunbed use comes into force in Scotland

A new law preventing under-18s from using sunbeds will come into force throughout Scotland this week.

The Public Health Act will see an end to unstaffed tanning salons which are coin operated, plus a ban on the sale or hire of sunbeds to people under 18.

Salons in Scotland will be fined if they are caught flouting the law.

Cancer Research UK is delighted with the ban, which comes into force on Tuesday, but it wants similar legislation for the rest of the UK.

Research by the charity found half of all girls between the ages of 15 and 17 in Liverpool and Sunderland used sunbeds, with 40% of this group said to go on them at least once a week.

Skin cancer is on the rise in Scotland and we must do all we can to tackle this and protect the public, particularly young people
Shona Robison
Scotland's public health minister

It also found that skin cancer rates had quadrupled in the past 30 years - rising from 3.4 people in every 100,000 in 1977 to 14.7 in every 100,000 in 2006, the charity said.

Sarah Woolnough, head of policy at Cancer Research, said it was time for the Westminster government to "take the dangers of sunbed use seriously and pass legislation".

She added: "Not only are sunbeds now classified in the highest risk category for cancer, alongside tobacco, but there is also strong scientific evidence to show the damage they cause to skin - both increasing skin cancer risk and ageing the skin."

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said she was "proud" Scotland was "leading the way" on sunbeds.

"Skin cancer is on the rise in Scotland and we must do all we can to tackle this and protect the public, particularly young people," added Ms Robison.

"All of the measures are scheduled to come into effect on December 1 and we have been working with operators to ensure compliance with the legislation."

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