Sharp decline in solariums shows impact of new legislation

Wednesday 9 July, 2008

Solarium operators are feeling the pinch of new legislation with figures released today revealing a dramatic slump in the industry.

Data released by the Victorian State Government show a staggering 29% decrease in the number of sites with a tanning unit, while the number of licensed tanning units has also dropped by 19%. *

The Cancer Council Victoria said the closures indicated a greater awareness of the dangers of solarium use, brought about by new legislation to regulate the solarium industry as well as the work of anti solarium campaigner Clare Oliver.

"The new laws, which have been in place since February, have clearly made a significant impact - effectively it means that 127 solariums have closed," said director of the Cancer Council's Education Unit, Mr Craig Sinclair.

"The figures released today are a sign that solarium users are starting to think of their health as more important than getting a tan. People are acting on the message that the Government, as well as anti-solarium campaigner Clare Oliver and organisations like the Cancer Council have worked hard to convey - that solariums are dangerous, and that no tan is worth dying for.

"The Cancer Council has played an active role over a number of years in the fight to regulate the solarium industry. It was a breakthrough last year when the Victorian state government announced it would bring in legislation to create tighter controls.

"The state government is to be congratulated for its leadership in being the first state to introduce solarium legislation. Whilst this has been a significant step, it is important that skin cancer prevention continues to be a high public health priority due to the very large number of people who are affected by the disease each year," said Mr Sinclair.

Clare Oliver died from skin cancer on 13 September last year while campaigning against the solarium industry.

Prior to regulation:

Number of sites with a tanning unit: 436
Number of tanning units: 1021
Post regulation:
Number of businesses licensed: 270
Number of sites with a tanning unit: 309 (29% decrease)
Number of tanning units licensed: 829 (19% decrease)

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