Rowen backs sun bed ban for under 18s

December 4, 2007 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen is supporting a proposed ban on under 18s using coin operated sun beds. The ban is due to announced by Health Secretary Alan Johnson MP in the long-awaited 'NHS cancer reform strategy'.

Mr Rowen said: "The problem with these coin-operated salons is that they are often unmanned and it's easy for young people to abuse. I have had concerns about this for some time and I would like to see the Government go further and insist that such salons are fully supervised by professionals. Otherwise this would be very difficult to police.

"We have all heard horror stories of kids on their lunch hour topping up their tans. This needs to end as research has found that four out of five sun beds produce dangerous levels of ultra-violet radiation. This can lead to melanoma, which is the fastest growing cancer in the country. Cases of melanoma have soared 43% in just a decade. Part of that reason is the growth and accessibility of sun beds."

Health Secretary Alan Johnson will announce the measure this week and also a ban on cigarette machines in pubs and hotels, there may also be further restrictions on cigarette packaging and advertising in shops.

Mr Rowen said in response this: "Again this is a sensible idea, the fact that the minimum age for smoking has gone up makes it more difficult for youngsters to buy them. Getting rid of cigarette machines is the next logical step. I appreciate that smokers may see this as a kick in the teeth but the fact remains that half of smokers die from cancer or other smoking-related illnesses - and a quarter die before reaching middle age. That is why it is important to restrict the sale of tobacco to our young people."