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SunSmart & Cancer Council Victoria welcome the new skin cancer prevention framework for Victoria

Thursday 13 December, 2012

Solarium ban announced in Victoria

SunSmart and Cancer Council Victoria welcome the new skin cancer prevention framework announced by the Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, today.

Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, said: "This is the first time the state government has committed itself to a broad skin cancer prevention framework. This is incredibly important given the size of the problem, both in terms of lives lost and the financial burden of the disease on our health system."

"The Victorian Government has a lead role to play within this framework to help bring about a comprehensive and sustainable effort in skin cancer control not previously seen. We expect a whole of government approach, consisting of a collaborative effort from both state and local governments, will greatly improve the impact of our SunSmart program over the long term. We also look forward to working with the government to lessen the impact of skin cancer on those most at risk groups in our community."

Jen Makin, SunSmart Manager, said: "In particular, we support and congratulate the government's decision to ban solariums in this state. There is a huge body of evidence showing that solarium use is irrefutably linked to skin cancer."

"This ban will save the lives of Victorians and save many from experiencing the devastating effects that skin cancer has on patients and their families. We encourage operators to switch off solariums as soon as possible. The sooner solariums cease to operate in this state, the more lives will be saved."

"The Victorian Government is to be congratulated for its leadership in managing the impacts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Today's prevention framework will allow us to take important steps forward in the prevention of skin cancer," said Ms Makin.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Each year almost 1,900 Australians die from this almost entirely preventable disease. There are more than 10,000 new cases of melanoma and 1,400 deaths in Australia each year.

281 cases of melanoma and 43 deaths are caused by solariums in Australia every year. It's estimated that about one in six melanomas in Australians aged 18 to 29 could be prevented if solariums were shut down. The solarium ban is to come into effect in Victoria in 2014.