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MPs back ban on under-18s using ultra-violet sunbeds

Picture 1 It's not that regularly that Private Member's Bills attract front page tabloid attention, but today is an exception. The Daily Express has splashed with the news that children under eighteen are to be banned from using sunbeds which emit ultra-violet light under a Private Member's Bill introduced by Labour MP Julie Morgan which passed its remaining Commons stages yesterday. 

Firms breaking the new law (assuming it passes in the House of Lords before dissolution) will be subject to a £20,000 fine. Unstaffed coin-operated tanning booths will also be outlawed under the legislation.

Tory backbencher and serial deregulator, Christopher Chope, unsuccessfully attempted to water down the provisions of the Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill, before it passed its Third Reading without a vote.

Mark Simmonds, the shadow health minister, welcomed the Bill's provisions from the Opposition front bench:

Picture 2 "The Bill is sensible and is supported by a significant amount of clinical evidence. If it is enforced properly over a period of time, it will make a contribution to reducing rates of skin cancer. It is vital that we should find ways of improving cancer outcomes in this country, and the Bill is one small contribution to that.

"I want to make two final points. It is essential that we provide greater, more accurate and more easily accessible information to enable people who might use such facilities to understand the implications of doing so; I am thinking of those over 18 and those below 18, in respect of whom medical exceptions apply.

"I should like to leave the Minister with this message: the success of the Bill will be in the evaluation and monitoring. That issue must be consistently looked at by the Department to ensure that if there are any improvements, the cost of the Bill is closely considered as it develops 12 months hence.

"I wish the Bill swift passage, and I look forward to its receiving Royal Assent."

Jonathan Isaby


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