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Battle against Skin Cancer must Target Tanning Salons

Tanning salons must be regulated by the Scottish Executive according to health experts and politicians. The call follows widespread support for a Private Members' Bill that was put// forward by Labour MSP Ken Macintosh, which demanded licensing of all sun bed parlours.

In May the Regulation of Sun bed Parlours Bill was put out for consultation and support from people, hoping that the myth that sun beds are safer than natural sunlight would be dispelled.

Over half of those who responded said there should be a targeted health campaign on the risks of using sun beds. According to research sun beds are responsible for an estimated 100 deaths in the UK each year. There have been higher rates of melanoma reported in Scotland that the rest of the country.

The number of skin cancer cases rose in 2001 to over 7000 compared to 2,200 in 1975.

The proposed Bill is expected to force tanning salons to operate within a regulatory framework that would include a ban on unstaffed premises as well as on children using sun beds.

Mr Macintosh, MSP for East Renfrewshire, said: "We are in the middle of a skin cancer epidemic here in Scotland. We need to take action now to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning."

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