A new coalition of health organisations has formed to call on the Victorian Parliament to Switch Off Solariums for good in the state.
Switch Off Solariums (SOS) is a partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, the Australian Medical Association Victorian Branch, Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc and the Victorian Faculty of the Australasian College of Dermatologists who have joined forces to fight for a ban on solariums and their use in Victoria.
SOS spokesperson and CEO of Cancer Council Victoria Todd Harper said: "The Victorian government has hinted that solariums could be banned in this state within the next two years and we now want to see this followed through.
We need legislation to be enacted to set a date for a ban. Solariums are dangerous, unnecessary, out-dated and irrefutably linked to cancer. The longer we wait, the more lives are being put at risk," Mr Harper said.
"It has been estimated that each year in Australia, 281 new melanoma cases, 43 melanoma-related deaths, and 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are attributable to solarium use. An estimated one in six melanomas in young Australians aged 18 to 29 could be prevented if solariums were shut down," said Associate Professor Peter Foley from the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc.
AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis said since the New South Wales and South Australian Governments announced bans on solariums; it made sense the Victorian Government should follow their life-saving lead. If Victoria continues to stand alone on the issue and doesn't introduce a ban, there is a real risk we will become a dumping ground for solariums from other states.
"Now is the time to take action and work towards implementing a ban in Victoria," Mr Harper said.