The Cancer Council has welcomed today's announcement by Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews that solariums will be regulated in Victoria.
Director of the Cancer Education Unit, Craig Sinclair, says given the recent growth of solariums in Melbourne, and the industry's inability to self regulate, legislation has become necessary.
"Victoria will become the first state to regulate the solarium industry. Our research has shown that the solarium industry has not adhered to its own voluntary code, and this potentially jeopardizes the health of solarium users."
"The only sensible step is to introduce legislation that places controls on the solarium industry to ensure young people are banned and that solarium users are appropriately informed of the risks."
"We're particularly pleased that under the measures announced by the Health Minister today, solariums will be required to display health warnings. These will be an important reminder for solariums users that solariums can cause skin cancer."
"We also welcome the move to restrict young people under the age of 18 from using solariums. We know that solarium use, particularly by young people, has a significant effect on skin cancer risk later in life.
Mr Sinclair said he hoped restrictions on marketing practices such as offers of unlimited solarium sessions for a fixed price and unsupervised operations will also be considered in the new regulations.
"This kind of marketing is an inducement for people to use solariums to a dangerous level, so we would like to see these practices banned."
Mr Sinclair appealed to solarium users to consider the risks of their actions and for solarium owners to improve their current practices. "The evidence is very clear that using solariums contributes to melanoma risk, so we would ask any solarium user to think about whether it's really worth risking their life for the sake of a tan."
A recent Cancer Council survey found that Melbourne has more solariums than any other capital city in Australia, with the number of solariums growing by 576% in just 10 years in Melbourne alone.
Available for interview:
Craig Sinclair, Director, Cancer Education Unit
To arrange interviews please contact Zoe Furman on 0408 176 934.