Scottish MPs pass under-18 sunbed ban

In collaboration with the Press Association

MSPs have passed new laws banning the use of sunbeds by under-18s.

The measures, which are included in the Public Health etc (Scotland) Bill, were put forward by Labour Eastwood MSP Ken McIntosh who expressed concerns about the nation's rising levels of skin cancer.

The disease is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK and more than 8,500 cases are reported each year in Scotland.

Under new laws, salons in Scotland will face a &pound100 fine if they are caught allowing under-18s to use sunbed facilities.

They will also be required to provide users with information about the health risks of sunbed use and will receive a &pound50 fine for operating unstaffed, coin-operated tanning facilities.

Public health minister Shona Robison commented: "This major piece of legislation will ensure appropriate measures are in place to safeguard the public from existing and emerging threats to public health."

The minister noted that the new laws are the first in the UK to protect young people from the dangers of sunbeds "and sends out a clear signal about the health risks to the wider public".

Ms Robison also told the BBC: "This is about adults being given information to make an informed and educated choice and children being fundamentally protected."

The measures have been welcomed by Cancer Research UK whose director of policy, Richard Davidson, said he was "delighted" by the decision.

"Using a sunbed before the age of 35 increases the risk of skin cancer by up to 75 per cent, so we welcome the move to prevent children from using them," Mr Davidson said.

"Scotland is once again leading the way in public health across the UK. Skin cancer rates continue to rise sharply in Scotland so it is important that effective measures such as those in this legislation are taken.

"We welcome the measures to inform people about the risks associated with using sunbeds. The new measures should help ensure that clear, accurate health information is displayed in all parlours."