Under-18s banned from using sunbeds from next Monday

People under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use sunbeds from next Monday.

The new Health Minister Leo Varadkar has announced details of the ban, which will come in from July 21, this afternoon.

It applies to the use of sunbeds on commercial premises by those aged under 18.

Minister Varadkar says it will help people to make informed decisions about their own health and well-being.

“This is an essential step to protect children’s health and wellbeing and an important preventative measure in terms of skin cancer,” Minister Varadkar said.

“Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Ireland. More than 850 new cases of melanoma are reported in Ireland each year, with 150 Irish people dying annually. This ban won’t solve the skin cancer problem on its own, but we can achieve our goal if we work together and raise awareness."

Dr Susan O Reilly, Director, National Cancer Control Programme, stressed "how important it is for adults never to use a sunbed so as to reduce their risk of getting a melanoma.

"Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer in Ireland and the numbers of new cases are increasing every year. People with moles should check them regularly and see their GP if they notice any changes, such as, increasing size, changing colour or irregular edges."

Dr Maurice Mulcahy, the HSE's Regional Chief Environmental Health Officer, the body which will enforce the new act, said: "We will be making contact with all sunbed businesses known to us over the coming weeks with a view to explaining what is required by the new Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 and how they can ensure they comply."

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