Calls for legislation to regulate sunbed use

A national campaign urging the Government to publish long-awaited legislation to regulate sunbed use has been launched by the Irish Cancer Society.

Calls for legislation to regulate sunbed use

The Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill was due to be published last year. However, drafting of the proposed legislation has not been completed yet.

There is a commitment to introducing legislation to regulate sunbed use in the Programme for Government.

As part of the campaign, schoolchildren have delivered a postcard to Oireachtas members reminding them of the Government’s promise.

The postcard asks politicians to ensure that the preparation of the proposed legislation is prioritised over the Dáil summer recess.

The Irish Cancer Society is also urging people to contact their local TD and to sign a petition to the health minister on the society’s website — www.cancer.ie/advocacy.

“Sunbed use is as carcinogenic as smoking and we need the minister for health [James Reilly] to show the same degree of leadership that he has shown in combating tobacco-related illness and prioritise the introduction of this life-saving legislation,” said the society’s head of advocacy and communications, Kathleen O’Meara.

Ms O’Meara said there was widespread support for sunbed regulation.

“Our online SunSmart survey found that 93% of people support a ban on sunbeds, whether a complete ban (50%) or a ban for under 18-year-olds (43%),” she said.

She added that she could see no reason why the new regulation should not be in place by the end of the year.

“Self regulation of the industry is clearly not working and every year that the legislation is delayed, up to 28,000 young people’s lives are put at risk,” she said.

Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer in Ireland.

There were 148 deaths from skin cancer last year.

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