Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 29th January 2010.

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Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Labour, Cardiff North 11:34 am, 29th January 2010

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

I am delighted to present this Bill to the House. It is important for many reasons, the first of which is clearly the protection of children. I have been pleased to receive the support of Members from all parties in the House. I am also grateful for the support of the Government and the Minister of State, Department of Health, my hon. Friend Gillian Merron, who is responsible for public health.

I am grateful to those MPs from my party and other parties who are sponsoring the Bill and, in particular, I thank Cancer Research UK, the British Medical Association, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Local Government Association for their wholehearted support. At this point, I particularly thank my hon. Friend Mrs. James, who has campaigned tirelessly on the issue for many years. I was lucky enough to draw No. 5 in the ballot for private Members' Bills. She has done a lot of the work over many years, so we are working together to try to get this Bill through the House.

I also want to thank all those Members who have signed early-day motion 537. Today, the number of signatures is 164. As all Members know, that is a large number of signatures for an early-day motion, so I am thankful for the support of so many people throughout the House.

It is also clear that this Bill will be popular with the public. Some 87 per cent. of the UK public believe that those aged under 18 should not use sunbeds. I am pleased to report that I went with other Members to No. 10 Downing street this week to hand in a petition signed by more than 10,000 people thanks to The Sun newspaper, which has run a long, vigorous campaign on the issue, too.

The Bill is very important, as the intention is to protect young people. The Bill aims to prevent under-18s from accessing sunbeds, seeks to create a duty on sunbed businesses to prevent the use of sunbeds by under-18s and gives local enforcement officers powers to inspect salons and penalise salon operators if under-18s are found to be using sunbeds. It also contains provisions to introduce regulations to ensure that under-18s cannot hire or buy sunbeds, that all sunbed salons are staffed and that clear and accurate health information is displayed in all salons and other places where sunbeds are used for commercial purposes. The Bill recognises that adults are free to make their own decisions about sunbed use, but they should also know what dangers are involved. That is why, under the regulations, there will be a requirement that health information should be made available.

It is also very important that the Bill would prevent operators from advertising unsupported benefits of sunbed use and ensure that all adult sunbed users wear protective eyewear when using a sunbed in a commercial setting. I must point out strongly that the Bill is not regulation for the sake of it. The sunbed industry has already tried to self-regulate and it has failed. Self-regulation has not worked. The Bill is about protecting young people and giving people the information they need to make an informed choice.

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Ciaran Mooney
Posted on 1 Feb 2010 10:06 am (Report this annotation)

I am a Director of The Tanning Shop, the largest chain of Tanning Salons in the UK and Ireland. You will understand that any proposed legislation is of great interest to us.

I agree that there is great support among the general public to protect children being exposed to sun beds at a young age, but this is where the support stops. Most people are happy to see adults being allowed to make their own decisions. Your reference to a petition of over 10,000 is a bit misleading when the petition has been orchestrated by two of the leading fake tan companies in the UK. I think you would agree that these companies stand to gain from any legislation which may create more customers for their products.

Not withstanding the above I would like to declare our support for a ban on under 18 using tanning salons along with the ban on unmanned coin-operatd salons. We ourselves introduced a minimum age in June 2009. However, we cannot support the proposed restriction on un-supported health benefits.

Even COMARE accept their job in qualifying the potential hazzards of sunbeds and that their claim that sunbeds cause 100 deaths per year is based on a "crude mathematical model". They do confirm that exposure to uv light on sunbeds produces vitamin d. If that is the case then the debate should lead to the importance of vitamin d in diet.

Skin cancer and it's relationship to UV is an incredibly complex subject and it needs more research, but until then we will continue to promote what we are passionate about....uv light.

Your proposed bill should be limited to age, unmanned salons and proper licencing.

Ciaran Mooney

Kathy Banks
Posted on 25 Feb 2010 4:22 pm (Report this annotation)

The Sunbed Association (TSA) is the trade association for the UK sunbed industry. TSA supports the Bill which would introduce a ban on under 18s and a ban on unstaffed salons. TSA also supports the requirement for salons to display appropriate advice and information on who can use a sunbed and how to use a sunbed responsibly. However, we do not see the necessity to include a provision prohibiting any sunbed business from providing/displaying statements relating to the health benefits since Regulations - The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 - are already in force which prohibit unproven, unfounded and misleading claims. Therefore, TSA sees no need to include this in a specific Sunbed Regulation.