Extra policing of sunbed regulations pledged under skin cancer plan

New Government policy to consider prohibiting sunbeds for all age groups

Use of sunbeds by under-18s is already banned. Photograph: iStock

Use of sunbeds by under-18s is already banned. Photograph: iStock

 

A new Government policy which will consider the prohibition of sunbeds for all age groups is to be published by Minister for Health Simon Harris on Monday.

The new policy on skin cancer is due to commit to a number of actions including increasing awareness of the risk of sunbed use, increasing enforcement of current sunbed regulations and identify other emerging artificial sources of artificial UV.

It will also commit to examining the elimination of sunbeds and exploring fiscal measures in support of skin cancer prevention behaviours.

Use of sunbeds by under-18s is already banned. Legislation which came into force in 2015 also prohibits certain marketing practices like “reduced price” or “happy hours” promotions.

Over 11,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in Ireland, accounting for over one-third of all cancers diagnosed every year.

Skin cancer is generally classified into two groups - melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Non-melanoma skin cancer, which is a less aggressive cancer, accounts for over 10,000 cases per year.

The Department of Health said the number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer in Ireland was “rising rapidly”.

Between 2015 and 2045, it is predicted that the number of cases of melanoma per year among males will increase to 1,678 (+207 per cent), and for females to 1,400 (+140 per cent).

The number of people diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer over the same period is expected to increase to 16,623 (+177 per cent) for males and 13,503 (+189 per cent) for females.